The Australian Medical Association AMA has criticised the Rudd Government’s Super Clinics initiative, saying the money would be better spent on things like improving the IT infrastructure in aged care.

AMA President, Rosanna Capolingua told the National Press Club that there was much room for improvement in the way health information is transferred.

“IT will assist in coordinating care and improve continuity of care when patients move through hospitals, aged care facilities, or hospices,” she said.

In her address, Dr Capolingua highlighted a number of health workforce issues that affect aged care.

“We recognise there is a big challenge – how to distribute the medical and allied health workforce to best service all of Australia,” she said.

“We are told that there are not enough nurses and not enough medical practitioners, although there are more Australian-trained doctors on the way.

“We need to take on that challenge in a way that does not sacrifice safety or quality of care.”

Dr Capolingua also called on the Government to increase its financial contribution to hospitals to better accommodate population ageing.

“The fact is, with increasing population, longevity and the ageing population, obesity and chronic disease, there is only ever going to be more demand on the system – not less,” she said.

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