John Menadue on re-distribution of doctors

How an auction might help fix medico maldistribution

John Menadue, a key figure in establishing our system for universal health care, has had much to say about the direction of health policy in recent years. Now that health reform is back on the agenda, we’re pulling out some policy gems from the archive.

In August 2008, John challenged the belief that we have a doctor shortage. He shares his ideas to address the problem of distribution of doctors, and how we encourage doctors to work in rural and remote areas where they are most needed.

In Australia, we don’t have so much a shortage of doctors as a maldistribution of doctors. Auctioning provider numbers could be an effective way of addressing this problem of maldistribution whereby affluent parts of Australia are generally well-served with medical services, but remote areas are badly served. There is also, of course, a strong case to increase the delivery of health services by nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals.

Continue reading what he had to say in his article for Crikey here.