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Welcome to the Doctors Reform Society of Australia

The Doctors Reform Society (DRS) is an organisation of doctors and medical students promoting measures to improve health for all, in a socially just and equitable way. The Society was formed in 1973 to support a proposal for a publicly-funded universal health insurance system.? Medibank (now Medicare) was successfully created despite opposition from the Australian Medical Association.

All members’ views are valued, and open debate on all health issues is encouraged both within and outside the organisation.? The DRS functions as a medico-political think tank, a lobby group and a public resource centre.

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Join the DRS

Membership of the Doctors’ Reform Society is open to all medical practitioners and medical students who believe that everyone, regardless of their social or economic status, should have access to high quality healthcare.

Click here to find out more about membership
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DRS National Conference September 2017

The 2017 National DRS Conference was held in Melbourne in September. Tim Woodruff started the day with an expansion of his article about a Basic Income Guarantee as a health issue (see articles). Dr Harry Jennens founder of Healthy?Futures then told us about the climate and health case for divestment and his organisation’s work in lobbying superannuation funds to divest.

Tony McBride, a previous chair of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance, and currently a?director of the Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (PHN) helped us to understand how the PHNs are evolving and their opportunities and challenges. Harry Lovelock, Senior Executive Manager from the Australian Psychological Society then gave us a very broad picture of the successes and failures of?mental health policy over recent years.

Read more here

Media Releases

Medicare Loses Its Champion

All Australians who have ever benefited from a Medicare rebate should today recognise that without Bob Hawke, they could well be struggling to afford simple basic medical treatment, said Dr Tim Woodruff, president, Doctors Reform Society.

He brought back our public health insurance scheme originally introduced by Gough Whitlam’s Government and subsequently repealed by Malcolm Fraser’s Government. Hawke then entrenched it in the Australian psyche such that those who dare to threaten Medicare dare to lose the Australian electorate.

His commitment to ‘a fair go’ for all Australians continues to stand as a beacon for those who believe we should have timely access to affordable health care for all and see such access not just a dream but as an achievable goal.

Thanks Bob.

Dr Tim Woodruff


Ph 0401042619






9th Apr 2019

Cancer is Horrible: So Is Death from Any Cause

Posted on Pearls and Irritations blog
By: Dr Tim Woodruff

The Opposition Leader has announced the biggest investment in Medicare for a generation, $2.3 billion to be spent eliminating the co-payments faced by those with cancer who see specialists, need diagnostic imaging, and radiotherapy. It is also guaranteeing all new drugs approved by the Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee (PBAC) will be listed for subsidy. The latter means prescription costs will be a maximum of about $6 or $40 a month for pensioners and health care card holders or non card holders respectively.

Cancer is scary. It is debilitating. It is life changing. It is often fatal. Furthermore, as Mr Shorten correctly pointed out “cancer makes you sick and all too often makes you poor”. Labor is to be commended for addressing this challenging issue. Read more

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