No doubt the Productivity Commission's report into Australia's healthcare will trigger the usual objections by the doctors' union. This is natural, as any union must put its members' interests first. However, I know enough doctors to believe that the vast majority are motivated by a deep-rooted sense of compassion and care. And they are not so naive as to ignore the costs of red tap, bureaucracy, pointless demarcation disputes and bully-boy tactics - often targeting junior doctors in the public hospitals - which they frequently encounter.
I believe Australia's medical fraternity will recognise the AMA's Choong-Siew Yong's remarks (referring to other health professionals as "doctor substitutes") for what they are. I call on doctors to see past their short-term interests and the institutional legacies of their profession; to embrace the contribution other healthcare workers can make; to honestly examine the report's recommendations and work to put the health outcomes of Australians first.