A Continuing Freeze on Medicare Rebates
Federal cuts to state government health funding
Headlines highlighting that Medicare claims have reached 1 million per day for the first time.
It is little wonder that according to our research the biggest professional concern of 1 in 2 doctors is government driven changes to the health system.
The broad picture reveals many positives.
We live in a time of increasing medical possibilities, and increasing demand for medical services. There continue to be improvements in diagnostic tools, and the technology and techniques for the treatment of many conditions. The increasing ease with which information and knowledge is widely disseminated could see these advances continue and potentially even accelerate.
There is an increasing demand for medical services too, whether from ageing populations, those suffering from lifestyle diseases, the increasing demand for cosmetic procedures and even the worried well.
There has also been a dramatic increase in wealth across the general population, making it possible to pay for more of these services.
All of these issues suggest continued high demand for your skills.
But new technologies and increased demands are leading to rising costs, which may be a negative for you. Governments, and Private Health Insurers are looking for ways to reduce the growth in their expenditure given their decline in revenue growth and in some cases declines in revenue. At a federal government level this is unlikely to change with the new Prime Minister, although a Malcolm Turnbull led administration may be more flexible and less obdurate in achieving its aims.
Rising costs and new technologies are also creating opportunities for a reassessment of how medicine is practiced in some areas. Some of these may lead to opportunities for a reduction in the cost of care, part of which may result from a reduction in the value placed on some practitioner’s skills.
Depending on your area of work and how you practice this may have little to no effect on you, it could be a significant positive or it could be negative. But any negative outcomes are likely to place downward pressure on your income.
One thing that may change is the willingness of the Government to confront and address some of the budget issues that have for a long time been placed in the too hard basket. This may include measures to address shortfalls in revenue, which will have implications for the amount of tax you pay. They may also look at the retirement system and the sustainability of its current structure.
Whether you think you are likely to be personally impacted or not, it would make sense to have a clear understanding of your financial position, and a plan to secure your financial independence in as short a space of time as possible. This would ensure your ability to do those things most important to you is not compromised by any negative changes to your professional earnings, and provide you with more flexibility to adapt to any changes in the tax system.
Hope is not a strategy upon which to base your future happiness.
A more detailed discussion of these issues is contained in my book Clinical Trials which you can download here.
If you would like a Second Opinion on how your finances are currently positioned and whether you are on track to achieve your objectives, please contact me.