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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

“Primary care leadership needs to wake up and start a revolution.”

Australia is not the only country with a health system under pressure from rising health care costs and increasing demand from a growing and ageing population.  A spate of recent research and policy papers from Europe shows that this part of the world is debating many of the same issues that confront governments, policy makers [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

2014 the year of the co-payment: lessons from the NHS

What can we learn from the UK’s recent experiments in primary health care about co-payments, economic incentives and the impact of creating barriers to access? Margaret Faux, from the University of Technology, Sydney, outlines some important messages for Governments and policy makers wishing to head down the same path as the National Health Services.  She writes:   This year two of the best among the developed [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Abbott’s Medicare reforms – today’s crime is tomorrow’s co-payment

(Note from Croakey: A correction to this post was made on July 22; correcting mention of “Justice Murphy” to “Justice Kirby” in the 2nd last paragraph.) The GP co-payment remains a hot topic. This week ABC news online flagged that the legal process for introducing the $7 GP copayment may not be straight forward, and [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

More bad news on the GP co-payment: BEACH study

In case you needed more evidence that the GP co-payment needs some further consideration, researchers at the University of Sydney have released has released a new study  on the estimated impact of co- payments, and the results provide interesting reading. Estimated impact of proposed GP, pathology and imaging co-payments for Medicare services, and the increased [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

GP co-payments – deregulation of the bulk billing market.

In this second of a series of posts about Medicare, Margaret Faux  looks at how perverse financial incentives, the increased financial pressure applied to pensioners and GPs and the lack of supporting infrastructure make the Federal Government’s $7 GP co-payment proposal a high risk venture.  See her first post here. *** Margaret Faux writes: The [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Frontline health, legal services, and what’s crucial behind them

The Federal Government talks much about shifting funding to “frontline services - where people need them”. It sounds obvious, until we look at what’s lost from the backline. In the first of two posts below, doctor and lawyer Dr Fiona Lander looks at new restrictions on law reform advocacy by community legal centres (CLCs). Noting the [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

FIFO/DIDO workers and health services in rural & remote Australia

The rapid growth in the fly-in fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in drive-out (DIDO) workforce in Australia’s rural and remote areas has been accompanied by claims that FIFO/DIDO workers, particularly miners and other resources sector workers, place substantial burdens on rural/remote health services. This latest update from the Primary Health Care Research and Information Service examines the [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Medicare co-payments – Has Tony Abbott closed Australia for (private health insurance) business?

In this first of a series of posts about Medicare, Margaret Faux notes that the Abbott Federal Government appears to be trying to gain some traction from former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s introduction of co-payments. But she says, more can be garnered from considering why they were not introduced by John Howard. Faux is [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Australia’s health costs: an international reality check

The evidence continues to mount against the Federal Government’s proposed health measures and the rationale for their introduction. The latest is the international Commonwealth Fund report – Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the performance of the US Health Care System compares internationally – which ranks 11 health systems across the globe on a range [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

On the risks of private health cover of GP visits & the need for a “real” national conversation on health

In this post below, public policy expert John Menadue agrees with Health Minister Peter Dutton that we need a national conversation about health. He disagrees however that we are having one, saying we are instead seeing an “ill-considered and ideologically driven course” on both co-payments and the prospect of private health insurers being able to [...]

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