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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Finding savings in healthcare: moving from theory to reality

With a tough federal Budget fast approaching, many in the health sector are offering up suggestions for where the Abbott Government might find savings. Some of these options were outlined in an article published in Croakey earlier this week. They include: cutting the price paid for generic drugs and encouraging substituting brand name drugs with [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Comprehensive Primary Health Care – what works? A Research Symposium

Comprehensive and integrated primary care is well documented in the research literature as providing the most cost-effective and equitable mechanism for preventing and managing chronic disease.  Yet despite a growing body of research supporting this form of care, it often appears to be put in the ‘too hard’ basket of governments and policy makers. This [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

What do the polls tell us about bulkbilling co-payments?

The opinion poll released on Monday in the Fairfax media is being interpreted by some commentators as supporting the proposal for a GP bulkbilling co-payment, reportedly under consideration by the Abbott Government.    Around half of the people polled said that they supported charging a means-tested co-payment for bulkbilled GP services.  The same proportion of people [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Clearing the air on managed care

Managed care has somewhat of a negative reputation in Australia but is this view justified? Walter Kmet, CEO of WentWest and AHHA councillor, argues that we need a take a rational and considered look at managed care and its potential role within our health system, or risk it being imposed on us with less than optimum results.  [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

SA election: ‘we want to control health costs but we’ll keep feeding that beast that fuels them’

South Australia goes to the polls this Saturday, with expectations that Labor will lose office after 12 years in government. In the post below, Professor Fran Baum, professor of public health from Flinders University, looks back at Labor’s record and what the parties are saying now on health. And she sets three big challenges for [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Doctors win in Medical Board “about turn” on online comments and advertising, but concern for other health professions still affected

It seems doctors will not face $5000 fines, after all, if they don’t request the removal of unsolicited online comments about their services, according to a “clarification” by the Medical Board of Australia on controversial new advertising guidelines. The Board last Friday noted there is: “…a clear difference between advertising – which requires an intent [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

GP co-payments and over servicing, what does the evidence tell us?

As we approach the federal budget, talk of a GP co-payment to discourage ‘unnecessary’ visits is still alive and well despite a range of concerns including those articulated by the AMA and the Consumers Health Forum. In this article from the Parliamentary Library, Amanda Biggs explores what is known and unknown about factors impacting GP visits and [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Making the rich pay more isn’t the answer to a better Medicare

Stephen Duckett writes: Should the rich pay more for their health care? This question has raised its ugly head again after health minister Peter Dutton announced the Coalition government was considering more user-pays options – including a $6 co-payment for general practice visits – to get a hold on the rising health budget. The argument is that government benefits should [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Dutton signals major Medicare reform

In his first major speech on his vision for health reform (to CEDA) and follow-up interview on the ABC’s 7.30 Report, Health Minister Peter Dutton has signalled major changes to the Australian health system, including an increasing role for private health insurance and the private sector, a broad cost-cutting agenda and a focus on preventable and ‘lifestyle-related’ [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

CHF counts the cost of co-payments

It may just be just a ‘burger and fries’ to some, but according to the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) a $5 GP co-payment can be an unsurmountable burden to people already struggling to afford essential health care. At a hearing of the Senate Inquiry into the Commission of Audit yesterday, CHF’s Director of Policy, Rebecca [...]

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