Education Expense change will hurt health care

Education Expense change will hurt health care

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Moves by the Federal Government to limit the tax deduction for work related education expenses will seriously affect the quality of health care in Australia and drive medical professionals from our shores, the AMA (WA) said today.Under the new reforms announced at the weekend, it would appear the tax deduction for work-related self-education expenses will be limited to $2,000 from 1 July 2014.


On behalf of all the members of the AMA (WA), Vice-President Dr Andrew Miller demanded that the Government reconsidered its ill-advised changes.


“This desperate attempt by the Federal Government to save a few dollars will cost an immeasurable amount in dumbing down the health community,” he said.


“The Government deserves to be loudly condemned for this sneaky move and we call on the Federal Opposition to immediately guarantee to reverse it if it wins government in September.

“I have never seen a move that hits both patients and health professionals as hard as this so called reform does. This move guarantees Australia will have a weaker health service and less knowledgeable doctors.”


Dr Miller called the move “pitiful.”


“This Government and this Prime Minister should be condemned for such a negative move,” he said.
Many doctors must do at least one course a year in order to maintain their qualifications, however these courses can cost in excess of $3000.


“For example, the Australian and New Zealand Surgical Skills Education and Training (ASSET) program costs $3280, the Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient course costs $2735, and a GP attending a Clinical Emergency Management Program (CEMP) workshops can face combined costs of over $3000,” Dr Miller said.


“This education is mandatory for doctors to provide the best possible health care. This isn’t about receiving tax breaks, this is about patient safety.”


The Government’s proposed ‘reforms’ will hit junior doctors, salaried doctors, GPs and other specialists.

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