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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Five more reasons we should not have co-payments on GP visits

The GP co-payment had a brief period in the sun recently when the MRFF Action Group was formed to support the medical research fund. The health sector was quick to respond that while the Medical research fund was a positive development its funding source was unacceptable. In a press release, Alison Verhoeven, Chief Executive of AHHA, [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

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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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Beyond the stethoscope: Restoring hope, heart and healing in medicine

In discussions about the flaws of our current health system, we rarely consider the impact of funding systems on the wellbeing and experiences of doctors. Forced into rush consultations by Medicare and waiting room economics, Lucy Mayes’ moving essay looks at the stress doctors experience by being unable to take ‘time to care’, leading to burnout and [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Alternative health cost-saving measures – new book

Whether or not the Abbott Government gets its way on GP co-payments, the sustainability of our health system is likely to remain very much on the political agenda, Dr Agnes Walker, from the Australian Centre for Economic Research on Health, reviews a new book which aims to identify the most cost-effective health system interventions. In line [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Abbott Government’s first year in office: what’s the verdict on health?

This Sunday marks the first anniversary of the election of the Abbott Government. We’ll leave it up to Croakey readers to characterise the year in health – feel free to post (publishable) comments and we’ll share them. This post below from The Conversation by Jim Gillespie, Deputy Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

No “perfect storm”: Hazelwood coal mine fire inquiry points to broader health issues, planning implications

“Contrary to suggestions that the Hazelwood mine fire was the ‘perfect storm of events’, all of the factors contributing to the ignition and spread of the fire were foreseeable. Yet it appears they were not foreseen.” The main findings of the inquiry into this year’s Hazelwood coal mine fire in Victoria are focused on what [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

EDDIE THE EXPERTS IN THE HEALTH SYSTEM ARE EVERYWHERE

Who should we be listening to in the debate over co-payments in the health system? Why do Governments take advice from unions, such as the AMA, with clear vested interests, rather than from expert researchers and consumer groups?  In the following piece, Anne Cahill Lambert builds on Marie McInerney’s work on the co-payment to question [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

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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GENERAL PRACTICE |

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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GENERAL PRACTICE |

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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