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Articles by Jennifer Doggett

Private health insurance in primary health care – what do the experts think?

One of the major policy changes on the agenda of the Federal Government is the introduction of private health insurance (PHI) into primary health care.  This has been flagged by Peter Dutton in a number of speeches and media interviews and was also recommended by the Competition Policy Review.  While the exact role the Government [...]

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Medical Device Safety – it’s a team effort

The failure of some medical devices in recent years, such as the PIP breast implants and metal-on-metal hip prostheses, have raised questions about the safety of medical technologies more generally and the role of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (the regulatory agency responsible for allowing devices onto the Australian market).   Two Senate Inquiries and a number [...]

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More Queues than Ays: reflections on Q&A’s mental health episode

The ABC’s Q&A program for Mental Health Week last night focussed on mental health in rural and remote Australia. The program covered a broad range of issues, including historical trends for mental illness in Australia, the role of prevention and early intervention and whether mental illnesses are determined by genetics or environment (or a mix of both). [...]

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Do we need more psychiatric beds?

The theme of Mental Health Week this year ‘Act-Belong-Commit’ is particularly relevant to the challenge of ensuring people with mental illnesses can access high quality care in the community.    In the following piece Dr Samantha Battams, Associate Professor & Public Health Program Director at Torrens University in South Australia, discusses how governments, health professionals and [...]

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Is this the end of unproven breast imaging in Australia?

A recent story from the West Australian reports that a Perth clinic that falsely claimed to offer an alternative breast screening service which could detect cancer has been fined $75,000, while the controversial former doctor involved must pay a $25,000 penalty. In the following piece public health Lawyer Caitlin Kameron discusses the implications of the decision [...]

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The 7 wonders of health funding

I recently had the privilege of participating in the Consumers Health Forum’s ‘Health in a time of change’ national workshop in Melbourne. The Workshop brought together a large number of consumers and other health stakeholders to debate current issues in health policy and advocacy. Copies of many of the presentations are available here, including an overview [...]

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Time to put some more health funding options on the table

One of the more puzzling aspects of the current debate over health funding is the lack of new or innovative policy options being proposed by the Government and others from the conservative side of politics.  Given the level of panic being invoked about our alleged health funding crisis (disputed by many economists) it would seem [...]

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Defining and responding to everyday racism

Racism is a sensitive and challenging issue but one which needs to be addressed by all of us working within the health system if we are to ensure all people can have equal access to health care.  In this thoughtful analysis of casual and everyday racism, collaborators Daniel Reeders and Suzanne Nguyen discuss how experiences [...]

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Are the AIHW’s welfare functions at risk?

Good policy relies on robust, comprehensive and accurate data and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is one of the most respected source of data for health and social policy makers in Australia. However, its status may be compromised due to the upcoming merger between AIHW and other agencies.  In a post originally [...]

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Abolition of Indigenous tutoring scheme will impact on the Government’s education commitment

The Abbott Government’s decision to abolish the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS) has been described by Australia’s peak Indigenous doctors’ representative body as undermining the Government’s support for Indigenous education, particularly tertiary education. The ITAS acknowledges Indigenous educational disadvantage, providing supplementary tutorial support to Indigenous students in order to increase participation and graduation rates. The [...]

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