Under the new federal government plan, doctors shall be given bonuses in order to keep diabetics in healthy conditions. This is best described as a sweetening motivation to get state premiers agree on the new national health reform.
In spite of the two days face to face talks, Rudd and Brumby governments were poles apart over the proposed federal invasions yesterday, with the Premier saying that disagreements still remain.
But Mr Rudd gave out a new policy yesterday: a $436 million plan that shall encourage GP practices to agree on diabetics' ongoing care that will give opportunities to be referred to other dieticians, physiotherapists and other health care providers that will make their conditions far better.
GP clinics will receive $12,000 annually for each enrolled patients that will cover the costs of the day to day care services under the new plan. They would also be given about $10,800 bonus payments in a year if patients stayed well and out of the hospital.
Mr Rudd expects that 4,300 general practices - or 60 percent of all GP's - would join the program by the years 2012-2013, the time when it is scheduled to begin.
The government has expected approximately 260,000 diabetic patients to voluntarily enroll themselves in the personalized care program by 2013-2014. he said.
This announcement was welcomed by the Australian General Practice Network, Australian Nursing Federation and Diabetes Foundation.
But the president of Australian Medical Association, Andrew Pesce, said that the announcement seemed to be a policy on the run aimed not on patients, but rather on premiers.
He said he was concerned it would weaken doctor-patient relationships and that some complex patients would find it even harder to find a doctor.
He also questioned whether the bonuses would create incentives for the doctors. Once you get to realize what they key performance targets are, you might say We'll just focus on the less sick diabetics who don't go to hospitals because we can achieve our targets easily.' he said.
Peter Dutton, opposition health spokesman, said that the program would see Australia move towards the British system where government employs doctors, which he describes as a disaster.
Mr Brumby said yesterday that he hadn't seen the plan yet but the more that could be spent on preventive health, the better.
The Brumby plan was much more transparent than the Prime Minister's model and would work better. The Brumby plan will see a funding pool controlled by states which consists of equal amounts from the states and the Commonwealth, in contrast to Mr Rudd's plan of direct federal money to local networks that run hospitals.