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PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE |

Unhealthy haste? What are the implications of outsourcing Medicare, PBS claims and services?

Less than two weeks ago the Federal Government called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from the private sector to provide claims and payment services for Medicare (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), a $29 billion operation currently managed by the Department of Human Services. The EOI closes this Friday, 22 August. Such a privatisation [...]

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PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE |

AHCRA Communique highlights the role of primary health care

In mid-July thirty-seven member organisations of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) came together from around Australia for the National Health Reform Summit to assess the key needs and issues in the Australian health system. Sixty participants were challenged and informed by a range of stimulating speakers from diverse organisations and perspectives. At the [...]

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PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE |

GP co-payments – deregulation of the bulk billing market.

In this second of a series of posts about Medicare, Margaret Faux  looks at how perverse financial incentives, the increased financial pressure applied to pensioners and GPs and the lack of supporting infrastructure make the Federal Government’s $7 GP co-payment proposal a high risk venture.  See her first post here. *** Margaret Faux writes: The [...]

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PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE |

FIFO/DIDO workers and health services in rural & remote Australia

The rapid growth in the fly-in fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in drive-out (DIDO) workforce in Australia’s rural and remote areas has been accompanied by claims that FIFO/DIDO workers, particularly miners and other resources sector workers, place substantial burdens on rural/remote health services. This latest update from the Primary Health Care Research and Information Service examines the [...]

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PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE |

The Health Wrap: Big tobacco arguments; fad diets and pills; fairness, equality and human rights

Big tobacco arguments This fortnight the plain packaging debate dominated the headlines, sparked by an article published a few weeks ago by The Australian claiming industry figures showed the legislation was failing to cut smoking rates. The Australian’s figures and motives were questioned by Media Watch, but the newspaper hit back and continued to argue [...]

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PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE |

Living longer, but chronic disease toll rising: Australia’s 14th biennial health report card (and what of its own future?)

We are living longer, have lower death rates for cancer and many other diseases, and a health system that people say they are mostly happy with. But chronic diseases related to our ageing population as well as to lifestyles and health habits are taking an increasing toll. That’s the verdict of Australia’s Health 2014, the [...]

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PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE |

Medicare co-payments – Has Tony Abbott closed Australia for (private health insurance) business?

In this first of a series of posts about Medicare, Margaret Faux notes that the Abbott Federal Government appears to be trying to gain some traction from former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s introduction of co-payments. But she says, more can be garnered from considering why they were not introduced by John Howard. Faux is [...]

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PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE |

Australia’s health costs: an international reality check

The evidence continues to mount against the Federal Government’s proposed health measures and the rationale for their introduction. The latest is the international Commonwealth Fund report – Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the performance of the US Health Care System compares internationally – which ranks 11 health systems across the globe on a range [...]

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PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE |

On the risks of private health cover of GP visits & the need for a “real” national conversation on health

In this post below, public policy expert John Menadue agrees with Health Minister Peter Dutton that we need a national conversation about health. He disagrees however that we are having one, saying we are instead seeing an “ill-considered and ideologically driven course” on both co-payments and the prospect of private health insurers being able to [...]

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PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE |

Welcome to Health Minister Dutton’s alternative universe – where “strengthening Medicare” means reducing access

Health Minister Peter Dutton’s expression appeared most sincere today at the National Press Club when he spoke about strengthening Medicare, which he described as “much-loved” by the public and the Government. No matter that the Budget reveals a clear lack of commitment to enhancing universal health care, as well as a distinct lack of interest, [...]

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