The annual renewal period for many professional memberships is upon us, including NASOG membership which is due for renewal by 30 June 2021.
A key focus of NASOG’s work is ensuring the survival and success of independent, private obstetric and gynaecology services in Australia.
We do this by:
- Collaboration with key medical representative organisations to oppose and stem the frightening prospect of obstetric Managed Care models being rolled out in Australian private hospitals.
- Regular communication with both the Health Minister and the Shadow Health Minister’s offices as well as Government and opposition Parliamentarians.
- Ongoing meetings with the Department of Health executive on how to improve access and affordability for women to private obstetric care.
- Raising the profile of the crisis in private O&G with the media nationally.
During 2020 we all saw that it is possible for our healthcare system to be responsive to immediate need and show initiative. Over the past 6 months particularly, national political and community attention has turned to the overwhelmed and rapidly failing, public maternity system. Reports of baby deaths have become all too regular, clearly illustrating the pressure the public system is under.
It is past time for some change to occur within the system to prevent more avoidable deaths and other poor outcomes. This is acknowledged by all stakeholders. As is the ability for the system to change when circumstances demand it.
NASOG has taken leadership on the issue over the past year and successfully raised a proposal with Government to address patient out-of-pocket costs for maternity care. The aim is to enable more insured mothers to access the underutilised private sector. Work is ongoing on the details around implementation.
But a success in improving access and affordability for private maternity care will be wasted if Australia’s healthcare system falls prey to US style insurer driven managed care.
The fight to prevent that structure gaining a foothold in Australia has reached a new level with the recent ACCC decision to allow US firm CIGNA to operate in a joint venture with NIB through NSW based Honeysuckle Health.
NASOG is joining other specialist groups in speaking out about this real threat to the rights of both patients and doctors to determine what care is given and how it is delivered.
The issues of access and independence are central to our ability as medical practitioners to deliver quality care now and in the future.
We believe that a strong and independent private sector in O&G is crucial to ensure a future career for current and future RANZCOG trainees. They should be confident that they will find personally satisfying work in a stable and sustainable healthcare system which balances public and private sector services and capacities.
To deliver successful outcomes, it is vital that NASOG continues to receive financial support from all O&Gs as full members or supporters so that we can secure our ability to:
- Ensure the voice of the obstetrics and gynaecology profession continues to be heard in negotiations to improve affordable access to care in the private sector for Australian women.
- Expand mutually beneficial relationships with other associations and societies, both medical and consumer.
- Continue to escalate the importance of our independent and high quality private health system through Parliamentary and bureaucratic networks.
- Work towards a successful career future for all trainees in O&G.
We appreciate that annual membership of several representative organisations can be a financial burden when your practice income is under pressure. So, this year we have held the standard NASOG membership subscription at $600 and maintained membership savings for those who are AGES members, retired from practice and trainees.
Renewing your NASOG membership means your association continues to have the resources to represent you and the future of your practice.
With such big issues circling around our specialty, now is also the perfect time to add your voice and become a NASOG member or contribute as a supporter at www.nasog.org.au
In 2021 we will build our capacity to represent you, and the more members we have, the more we can drive the future of our profession.
A/Prof Gino Pecoraro
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org