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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Australia’s first Physician Assistant graduates hold promise to better health care access

Today has been a landmark day in Australian health, particularly for rural and regional areas, with the country’s first graduation of a cohort of bachelor degree trained physician assistants from James Cook University. Croakey has published a number of reports – see this one and the links below - on the benefits of physician assistants, and the [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Tony Abbott’s Medicare “deforms” or How to Trick Senators 1.01

The Federal Government’s co-payments Plan B will add another layer of co-payment complexity to the Medicare system that neither doctors nor patients fully understand now. That raises a whole range of issues around unintended consequences, particularly for patients but also for our system, which has prompted this appeal to the Senate to learn from what’s [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

The Health Wrap: revamping Medicare; Indigenous policy roadblocks; reforming mental health

By Frances Gilham Revamping Medicare: a mixed response News that the Government had stepped back from its $7 GP co-payment proposal and was hoping to replace it with a new, slightly changed package that still aimed for significant Budget savings was met with mixed reactions, with many in the healthcare sector arguing the plan was [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Federation reform: issues raised in the Health Issues Paper

The Federal Government last week released, with little fanfare, the Issues Paper on Health to inform the White Paper on the Reform of the Federation. See the media release from Prime Minister Tony Abbott and this snapshot of the “threshold questions” to be addressed. In response, the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association today released a [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Peak medical groups vs individual advocates: who should GPs be listening to on the co-payment?

For a policy that ripped a significant chunk of funding out of general practice and, for many GPs, will mean more administrative hassles and possibly lower incomes, reaction to the Government’s copayment #2 policy from a number of stakeholder groups last week was extraordinarily mild.  In fact, the initial response from the Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Plan B: the political appeal of a GP co-payment

It’s clear from the reaction to the Government’s ‘Plan B’ for the GP co-payment that most health groups and experts don’t think the proposal makes any policy sense.  Why, then, has the Government been so insistent on pursuing a co-payment for GP services in the face of ongoing opposition?  Why focus on general practice, a [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Government’s ‘Plan B’ for copayments widely criticised

*Updated to include responses from the RDAA, NACCHO and the AMA*         The Government’s announcement of its ‘Plan B’ for Medicare has generated a wave of responses from stakeholders.  The plan, in essence, is to reduce Medicare rebates for Level B consultations for non-concessional patients but has been dressed up as a [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

On the many ways that federal policies are hitting Tasmanians’ health

Two recent Senate committee reports have raised concerns that federal policies are exacerbating health inequities (an interim report from the Senate Select Committee on Health, and another report, Bridging our growing divide: inequality in Australia). Such concerns are particularly acute in Tasmania, as was made clear in submissions to the Senate Select Committee on Health. [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

On #VicVotes, the GP co-payment and other remarkable stories…

When a wake is finally held for the GP co-payment (whose condition surely must now be judged as terminal), those writing the eulogies will have no trouble finding remarkable stories to tell. Who could possibly forget the Prime Minister complaining to G20 leaders about his pesky personal health problem? Perhaps the newly deposed Victorian Premier [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Antibiotic Awareness Week: On the path to least resistance

This post below from Professor John Turnidge,  Senior Medical Advisor at the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, marks Antibiotic Awareness Week (Nov 17-23). It outlines how the Commission’s release of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard is another significant step along the path to ‘least antibiotic resistance’, but reports also on [...]

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