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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Private Health Insurance in Primary Care: an overview of the issues

The GP co-payment may be ‘dead, buried and cremated’ but controversy over its primary health care policies is not over for the Abbott Government.  The introduction of private health insurance into the primary health care sector was flagged by previous Minister for Health Peter Dutton in a number of speeches and media interviews and was [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Primary Health Networks: key questions and challenges

While the media has been focussed on the Government’s proposed GP co-payment, there have been potentially bigger changes to primary health care progressing behind the scenes. The transition from Medicare Locals to Primary Health Networks (PHNs) may not appear significant, as the functions and objectives of both organisations are very similar. However, there are some [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

What is the value of a Medicare price signal?

Health Minister Sussan Ley has re-affirmed the Government’s commitment to the GP co-payment, arguing that it is necessary so that people ‘value’ the health care they receive.  In the following piece, the Consumers Health Forum CEO, Adam Stankevicius, questions the Government’s association of price signals with value, given the fact that Medicare has provided Australians [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Choosing Wisely with The Naked Doctor

In his latest post for Croakey, The Naked Doctor, Justin Coleman, previews the Choosing Wisely campaign, due to launch in Australia in April.  This campaign focuses on cutting down the numbers of unnecessary medical tests and treatment and has been successful in the USA and Canada in reducing non-evidenced based interventions.  While a number of medical colleges [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Health policy reform: principles for reform & how to get there

It’s hard to pick where health policy will go now under the Federal Government, with a new Minister and the likely shift (mark 3?) on a GP co-payment – if not because they accept the evidence against it but because of the politics. But there was an interesting intervention in the lead up to this [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

‘Good government starts today’ What about good health policy? (asks the AMA for all of us)

It wasn’t a good start for Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s new, improved government after he survived the Liberal party room spill motion, with confusion from the get go about whether or not the GP co-payment proposal was finally going the way of his knighthood selections and the Parental Payment Scheme. The word, at least for [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Calling for health reform – that won’t be a health hazard

Dr Frank Jones, a GP from Mandurah in WA and president of the Royal Australian College of GPs, is worth watching in this presentation made yesterday to the Senate Select Committee inquiring into federal health policy. When asked, what is the one thing he would tell a new PM (if this eventuates), he replied: “Countries with [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

The AMA and Medicare: a love-hate relationship

Lesley Russell writes: The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has emerged from the recent brouhaha over the Abbott government’s proposed Medicare reforms as both a winner in the protection of doctors’ incomes and an apparent champion of the affordability of health care for patients. [...] 

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

New paper offers alternatives to co-payment and rebate cuts

The announcement by Health Minister Sussan Ley that she has abandoned the planned Medicare rebate cut, flagged by her predecessor Peter Dutton, and is going to “pause, listen and consult” with the health sector and cross-benchers makes both political and policy sense.  The rebate cut was unlikely to pass the Senate and had been widely [...]

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GENERAL PRACTICE |

Federal Govt faces doctors rallying in waiting rooms, streets over Medicare co-payment Plan B

The Federal Government is facing the prospect of doctors marching on the streets against its latest Medicare package – possibly ahead of the Queensland state election on January 31 where health cuts are already on the agenda. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) yesterday signalled it was launching a campaign to put a stop to the [...]

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