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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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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

For real health reform, turn the spotlight on specialists’ fees

With thanks to The Conversation for allowing us to cross publish this piece by Lesley Russell. By Lesley Russell, University of Sydney The impact of specialist fees on government and patient budgets has received little reform attention. This is despite the government’s push for controls in health-care spending and growing evidence of the affordability problems faced [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Federation reform: A solution in search of a problem.

The Federation Reform consultation process is now underway.  Readers may remember that the health issues paper was release in December last year and the process has been seen by groups such as AHHA as a possibility to improve healthcare. At the time a senior health policy analyst and regular Croakey contributor,  writing under the pen [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

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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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

‘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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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

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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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

A refresher course: why health reform is needed (attention: Minister Ley)

We know, thanks to Twitter, that our new Health Minister Sussan Ley has been consulting with some medical groups as part of her commitment to “undertake wide ranging consultation”. But is she also hearing from some of the other parties with relevant expertise – like consumer and community representatives, health policy and public health experts, [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Marching doctors

It’s often said that if you don’t know history, you are cursed to repeat it. Consumer health advocate Martyn Goddard has been around long enough to remember the last time that doctors were up in arms and marching in the streets against a conservative government. It’s a tale that might usefully refresh the memory of [...]

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