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Doctors say Turnbull health plan to create two tier system

STATE OF THE ART: The new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine at Lismore Base Hospital.
STATE OF THE ART: The new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine at Lismore Base Hospital. Jennie Dell

DOCTORS have raised concerns the Turnbull government's chronic disease plan could create a two-tier health system.

The government released a plan this week to make sufferers of two or more chronic diseases get a single doctor to manage their illnesses.

But the review that triggered the policy change also urged the government to encourage the private health insurance industry to fund management of chronic conditions.

The Doctors Reform Society's Dr Tim Woodruff said if the plan proceeded, it could lead to a two-tier primary health care system where public patients missed out.

"With the (private health) industry more involved, the future is inevitable - two-tiered primary health care, just like we have two-tiered access to elective surgery and to dental care," he said.

He was also concerned the plan did not appear to come with new funding.

The Australian Medical Association's Brian Owler welcomed the plan but said he was concerned it could involve cuts to existing hospital funding.

Topics:  health turnbull


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