The Doctors Reform Society (DRS) is an organisation of doctors and medical students promoting measures to improve health for all, in a socially just and equitable way. The Society was formed in 1973 to support a proposal for a publicly-funded universal health insurance system.? Medibank (now Medicare) was successfully created despite opposition from the Australian Medical Association.
All members’ views are valued, and open debate on all health issues is encouraged both within and outside the organisation.? The DRS functions as a medico-political think tank, a lobby group and a public resource centre.
Membership of the Doctors’ Reform Society is open to all medical practitioners and medical students who believe that everyone, regardless of their social or economic status, should have access to high quality healthcare.Click here to find out more about membership
The 2017 National DRS Conference was held in Melbourne in September. Tim Woodruff started the day with an expansion of his article about a Basic Income Guarantee as a health issue (see articles). Dr Harry Jennens founder of Healthy?Futures then told us about the climate and health case for divestment and his organisation’s work in lobbying superannuation funds to divest.
Tony McBride, a previous chair of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance, and currently a?director of the Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (PHN) helped us to understand how the PHNs are evolving and their opportunities and challenges. Harry Lovelock, Senior Executive Manager from the Australian Psychological Society then gave us a very broad picture of the successes and failures of?mental health policy over recent years.Read more here
Reports today that cancer doctors say Labor’s cancer plan won’t work to eliminate costs of treatment reveal both the problem of the very high fees charged by some specialists and the lack of thinking behind Labor’s policy, said Dr Tim Woodruff, President, Doctors Reform Society.
Some private cancer doctors are saying they will not guarantee bulk billing of cancer patients whatever the rebate, and others are saying that they value their own autonomy and independence which is code for saying patients’ financial distress plays second fiddle to their desire to charge what they like. This is the sad dark side of this issue. Read more
The Opposition Leader has announced the biggest investment in Medicare for a generation, $2.3 billion to be spent eliminating the co-payments faced by those with cancer who see specialists, need diagnostic imaging, and radiotherapy. It is also guaranteeing all new drugs approved by the Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee (PBAC) will be listed for subsidy. The latter means prescription costs will be a maximum of about $6 or $40 a month for pensioners and health care card holders or non card holders respectively.
Cancer is scary. It is debilitating. It is life changing. It is often fatal. Furthermore, as Mr Shorten correctly pointed out “cancer makes you sick and all too often makes you poor”. Labor is to be commended for addressing this challenging issue. Read more