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Catholic Health seeks fair deal for patients in medical indemnity talks

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has said the community deserves all the facts surrounding the medical indemnity crisis, with CEO Francis Sullivan urging the Federal Government to guarantee its review announced on Friday is open and broad in its scope.

The public hospital system is increasingly looking at a crisis, as negotiations between doctors' organisations and incoming health minister Tony Abbott since Friday have so far failed to forestall a threatened mass walk-out of doctors.

CHA's Mr Sullivan said it is "plainly obvious that regardless of the method adopted by the Government, patients will pay, not doctors".

He said that the sick and vulnerable are already paying as a result of the negative impacts on services and the uncertainty faced by hospitals as medical specialists threaten to withdraw from hospitals.

Mr Sullivan said that the community remains in the dark over the real reasons behind the doctors' apparent demand for the community to bail them out.

"There has been a marked absence of transparency and openness surrounding the issue of medical indemnity. The case for the community paying more has not been made," he said. "The community has not had all the facts laid out before it."

Catholic Health Australia

Catholic Health Australia
Abbott moves to pacify doctors (Sydney Morning Herald)
NSW doctors ready to listen (ABC Radio The World Today 3/10/03)
Howard faced with health challenge (ABC Radio The World Today 3/10/03)
Scalpels out after Abbott's levy ploy (The Australian 4/10/03)
Catholic Health welcomes Abbott as new Health Minister (30/9/03)
Doctor groups hail promotion of 'head kicker' (The Age 29/9/03)

7 Oct 2003