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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

questioning medical power « Previous | |Next »
February 23, 2006

And so the undermining of the power of the medical profession by the government has begun.

It's taken the initial form of the state health ministers appealing to the ACCC to review the Royal Australasian College of Surgeon's ability to decide how many surgeons are trained. The College---a doctor's club---is seen to be limiting the number of trainee surgeons. They control the numbers so it is not just a question of a lack of funding for trainee posts. The College is a monopoly controlling access to a profession. It's a closed shop that needs to be busted open for the public good.

How to do this is the problem? It is going to require some heavy lifting to remove the closed shops and monopolies throughout the health system. Bringing in other competitors is the answer. Who then would provide high quality training for surgeons? The universities could, if they worked together says the editorial in the Australian Financial Review:

The good news is that it is not up to the ACCC to bust open this particular closed shop. The regulator's authorisation permits the monopoly, it doesn't stop anyone else entering the market. When the authorisation was renewed, the ACCC noted with evdent relief that high-quality alternative systems for training surgeons could exist...all it would take is a group of major universities to band together and the club of surgeons would no longe rhave a monopoly.

They would need help to break the monopoly. Will the state governments do that? Or will they and the federal government baulk at taking on the vested interests of the AMA and the medical colleges.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:11 PM | | Comments (2)


Gary - Don't think much of your wishful thinking about a competing training school for surgeons, but if it happens somehow, let's hope the new boys can wield a scalpel more accurately than you can identify the difference between the singular possessive and the plural.
The College is a doctors' club ( more than one doctor involved) and it is the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons' ability to decide how many surgeons are trained.( same deal) A bit sloppy mate.

my apologies for causing you some angst due to my bad grammar in the post. My grammar is sloppy. I will endeavour to try and lift my game in future to lessen the offense.

I notice that you gave no reasons for why my proposal about a competing training school for surgeons is wishful thinking; or for why competition is not a useful instrument in medical reform.

Giving an argument would help to show me why my feet are not grounded in reality and my head floats in the clouds.

Interesting that you spend time on the grammar and not on the content. It leads me to read your comments as saying no to medical reform. Is that a fair interpretation?