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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Six challenges facing Australia’s medical research sector

This is an edited version of a speech about the challenges facing medical research given by outgoing National Health and Medicine Research Council (NHMRC) CEO Warwick Anderson at the National Press Club on Wednesday: It’s been a great privilege to have been the head of NHMRC for going on a decade. That’s four governments, six [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Getting the facts right – the PM&C discussion paper put under the spotlight

In a sector as large and complex as health it’s not possible for any one person to have the expertise to verify every piece of information they are given.  This means that most of us, most of the time, have to accept information from the ‘experts’ on trust, even when we are using the data or figures we have been [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Private health insurance ‘carrot and stick’ reforms have failed – here’s why

Anne-marie Boxall writes: If your workplace is anything like mine, this week’s private health insurance premium increases might prompt conversations that go something like this: Can you believe our private health insurance costs $421 a month – and we are all really healthy! Some people baulk at the cost of private insurance – especially the [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Time for policy rethink as frequent GP attenders account for 41% of costs

Stephen Duckett writes: The Commonwealth government’s big idea for primary health care in the past year was to charge everyone who visits the GP a A$7 co-payment. The idea had many problems – it could have led to a blowout in emergency department demand; it was inequitable; and it may not have worked anyway. It has [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Why Private Health Insurance won’t improve our health

As highlighted by the Parliamentary Library, the introduction of private health insurance (PHI) into primary health care raises some significant policy and regulatory challenges.  In the following piece Dr Tim Senior expands on some of these issues and outlines implications of this move for population health, equity, health care costs and ultimately the future of our public health system.   [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Health groups unite to support RECOGNISE HEALTH

It’s hard enough to get a handful of health groups to agree on anything but there is one cause important enough to unite over a hundred peak medical and health groups – the need to work together to improve the health of Indigenous Australians.   Today an important campaign is being launched at Parliament House in [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

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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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

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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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

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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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

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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