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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Will #COAG calls for new focus on primary care, keeping people out of hospital mean reform goes beyond GST, Medicare levy hikes?

‘Frankly, if we can have a conversation rather than a scare campaign, our country will be so much better off,’ said Prime Minister Tony Abbott as the 40th Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting wound up on Thursday. Chance would be a fine thing perhaps – particularly with lifting the rate of the GST and [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Private health & private hospitals: how does the new landscape look for patients & equity?

(Updated 23 July to add Medibank response). Australian Medical Association president Brian Owler today issued a stern warning over “more aggressive” negotiations emerging between private health insurers and funds in Australia, demonstrated by the dispute on rates and quality of services between Calvary Hospital Group and health insurer Medibank Private. Owler was particularly concerned over [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

What’s the problem with hospital funding and why lifting the GST is ‘like prescribing medicine before completing the diagnosis’

Momentum has been growing ahead of today’s meeting of State Premiers and Prime Minister Tony Abbott for increasing the goods and services tax from 10 per cent to 15 per cent, in large part to cover health care funding gaps. Emeritus Professor Stephen Leeder from the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at University of Sydney outlines [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

As we fiddle with GST rises to fund health, South Australia sees big ‘short-sighted’ cuts to public health

As New South Wales and South Australia launch discussions on the merits of lifting the rate of the GST from 10 to 15 per cent “in order to pay for the increasing cost of healthcare”, they might want first to consider their health care priorities. Associate Professor Samantha Battams reveals below “a sad state of [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Federal health budget review: “There is a failure to realise that health is central to the well-being and wealth of individuals and nations”

Many thanks to Dr Lesley Russell for this insightful analysis of the federal health budget. Dr Russell writes: Every year since 2007 I have done a detailed analysis of the health provisions in the federal budget.  I do this in the light of current and past strategies, policies, programs and funding and support my work, [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Medicare Locals and the future of primary health care research

The 30th of June saw the end of Medicare Locals, the primary health care bodies that evolved from Divisions of General Practice and were recommended by the Rudd Government’s National Primary Healthcare Strategy. After only four years (at most) of operation, these organisations had yet to reach their potential but many had made promising gains [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Federal Budget impacts on Indigenous issues – new report

The health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is Australia’s most urgent and serious health challenge.  Despite this fact, Indigenous issues barely rated a mention in the Federal Government’s most recent Budget.  This, however, does not mean that Indigenous communities are unaffected by the Budget measures.  In fact there are a broad range of impacts [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Redesigning Australia’s health workforce with Physician Assistants

We are often keen to adopt the latest medical technology or new ‘wonder drug’ from other countries but seem less eager when it comes to importing their innovations in health workforce practices.  Yet if we are to meet our health care needs in the future, we will need a health workforce that is continually evolving [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

“Suddenly, nothing happened!” Health Minister Sussan Ley leaves mental health reform “in limbo”

Health Minister Sussan Ley yesterday announced the Federal Government’s next step in taking the National Mental Health Commission’s landmark Review “from paper to policy” – with the first meeting held of an expert reference group “tasked with guiding the implementation of its recommendations”. She said the 13-person Expert Reference Group (see the full list in [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

What’s wrong with the Government’s Medicare ‘male-over’?

Women make up 55% of all medical graduates, 57% of all doctors under 30, 59% of endocrinologists, 58% of pathologists, 53% of paediatricians, 50% of rheumatologists, 49% of obstetricians and 43% of GPs.  In fact, it is only in the surgical and procedural specialities that women are out-numbered significantly by men.  Women overwhelmingly dominate the [...]

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