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FEDERAL ELECTION 2013 |

And still the evidence and argument mount against a $7 GP co-payment.

The Senate’s Community Affairs References Committee on Friday published its findings on out of pocket costs in Australian healthcare, saying that imposing additional costs would make it harder for people, particularly in vulnerable groups to access primary care, which would not only be at the cost of their own health but to the whole system, [...]

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FEDERAL ELECTION 2013 |

It’s about the wellbeing of all of us, not just doctors: concerns re AMA copayment deal

(This post has been updated to link to include the AMA’s co-payment proposal and some Twitter reaction) “When it comes to health costs, no decision about us should be taken without us.” The national peak community and health consumer groups – the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), Consumers Health Forum, and Public Health Association [...]

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FEDERAL ELECTION 2013 |

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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FEDERAL ELECTION 2013 |

J’Accuse: call on health professionals to speak out on Australia’s asylum seeker policies

Australian psychiatrist and researcher Professor Louise Newman, director of the Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology at Monash University, has long led the way on the devastating impact of detention on asylum seekers, particularly children. She is spokeswoman for this open letter, signed by more than 200 prominent doctors, lawyers, academics and refugee advocates, that [...]

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FEDERAL ELECTION 2013 |

Frontline health, legal services, and what’s crucial behind them

The Federal Government talks much about shifting funding to “frontline services - where people need them”. It sounds obvious, until we look at what’s lost from the backline. In the first of two posts below, doctor and lawyer Dr Fiona Lander looks at new restrictions on law reform advocacy by community legal centres (CLCs). Noting the [...]

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FEDERAL ELECTION 2013 |

Action on the social determinants of health – views from inside the policy process

Australian politicians and policy makers still struggle to understand how to translate growing evidence around the social determinants of health  into policy action. Researchers Dr Gemma Carey and Brad Crammond have interviewed a range of politicians, senior past and present bureaucrats, government advisors and lobbyists to explore why and how that can be shifted. Their [...]

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FEDERAL ELECTION 2013 |

Closing the gap in Indigenous health: how will we know?

Two important reports on Indigenous health were released today amid continuing fears about the future of independent reporting and accountability on health and welfare in Australia in the wake of the axing and merger of key Federal Government agencies. At its national conference today, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisaton (NACCHO) expressed “grave concerns” [...]

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FEDERAL ELECTION 2013 |

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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FEDERAL ELECTION 2013 |

GP co-payments risk efforts to protect public health, combat communicable disease

Most concerns about the Federal Budget’s imposition of a $7 GP co-payment have been around its impact on the health of vulnerable individuals and families. Below Catherine Bateman-Steel and Leena Gupta discuss the risks for the protection of public health, particularly when we need to respond to outbreaks of communicable diseases like measles and meningococcal [...]

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FEDERAL ELECTION 2013 |

#Budget2014: Searching for the detail and evidence amidst the pain

I can’t imagine what it took for Korey Gunnis – sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis, cerebral palsy, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, chronic asthma, hearing loss, anxiety disorder and clinical depression – to ask the Treasurer Joe Hockey this question  on national TV. But it went to the heart of the 2014-15 Budget. How was he supposed to cope [...]

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