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Australian Medical Association President Dr Omar Khorshid has attacked Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese for failing to pledge funding to address the country’s hospital crisis.

Speaking in Sydney after a meeting with NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, Khorshid said he had heard ‘critics’ from the two main party leaders ‘about the necessary substantial reform”.

Khorshid said more than a million people were waiting for surgery in public hospitals across the country and waiting lists were growing.

Omar Khorshid, WADA President.Credit:Tony McDonough

“Behind every one of these statistics is a real Australian whose health is suffering, whose quality of life is suffering,” he said.

He pointed to the growing problem of ambulance surges and reports of Australians ‘dying at home and in the back of ambulances when they should be in hospital’.

“I am here today to point the finger directly at the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition for their lack of leadership, for their lack of vision so far on health in this election campaign,” Khorshid said. .

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“We have spoken to both parties, and neither party has yet had anything meaningful to say about health. Neither party has a vision to address our lack of primary care, the need for community health care reform, and neither side has a solution to the crisis in our public hospitals.

Khorshid said more than 200,000 more people were waiting for elective surgery after having their procedures canceled in the pandemic and that Morrison and Albanese were “accepting our public hospital crisis by not talking about it in this election campaign”.

The AMA wants the next federal government to increase Medicare rebates for GPs, allowing them to spend more time with patients, and increase the Commonwealth’s contribution to public hospital funding from 45-50%, while scrapping the 6.5% cap on cost growth.

Khorshid said all states and territories have agreed that the federal government should commit to 50-50 funding of the health care system, which would cost about $20 billion over four years.