Historically, campaigns against bad government health policies have been predominantly doctor-centric. And the usual government response is to divide doctors and patient organisations.
Many politicians have mastered playing the ‘greedy doctor’ card, which is an effective way of making doctors’ objections seem less trustworthy.
A while back, I interviewed the influential patient advocate Jen Morris for my blog. Ms Morris is a researcher in healthcare quality and safety at the University of Melbourne.
We spoke about the untapped power of the patient–doctor alliance. She strongly feels that we can achieve so much more in Canberra if patients and doctors joined forces more often.
“At a strategic level, it’s a numbers game,” she said. “There are approximately 26,000 GPs in Australia, and about 82,000 registered medical practitioners. But there are over 23 million patients. That is an enormous bloc of voters and lobbyists to leave untapped.”
The RACGP’s ‘You’ve been…
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