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Declare handouts.

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Laurie Ferguson Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs Shadow Minister for Population Health and Health Regulation

Friday, 4th August 2006

Declare handouts

Shadow Minister for Population Health and Health Regulation, Laurie Ferguson, said that he was disturbed and disappointed at media reports that some doctors are soliciting handouts and gifts with a value of up to $100,000.

“In regards to their professional skills, Australian doctors have a reputation which is amongst the finest in the World. We can not afford the damage to the health sector precipitated by the stream of reports and allegations indicating poor standards of conduct and ethics by a small minority of professionals.”

A Report by Paul McNeill Associate Professor of Ethics and Law in Medicine at the University of New South Wales argues that doctors and pharmaceutical companies are equally complicit in the unsavoury business of handouts and inducements.

“The AMA, Royal Australasian College of Physicians and their members must embrace the newly revised Medicines Australia Code of Conduct. This calls for greater transparency and disclosure of any inducements, giveaways or handouts. This is crucial as community standards demand action.”

“The medical profession can ill afford the continuing attack on the credibility of some of its members and must immediately clamp down on any conduct which continues to diminish the industry’s reputation.”

Contact: Laurie Ferguson: 0418 601 716