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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Widening the gap: if they complain, who will hear them? On the loss of IRIS to remote communities

The Federal Government’s Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) this week brought more bad news for health agencies and programs, at home and internationally. There was also much concern that the Indigenous and Remote Eye Health Service (IRIS) will cease operations at the end of this year. In the post below, David Russell, Director of [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Australia’s first Physician Assistant graduates hold promise to better health care access

Today has been a landmark day in Australian health, particularly for rural and regional areas, with the country’s first graduation of a cohort of bachelor degree trained physician assistants from James Cook University. Croakey has published a number of reports – see this one and the links below - on the benefits of physician assistants, and the [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Tony Abbott’s Medicare “deforms” or How to Trick Senators 1.01

The Federal Government’s co-payments Plan B will add another layer of co-payment complexity to the Medicare system that neither doctors nor patients fully understand now. That raises a whole range of issues around unintended consequences, particularly for patients but also for our system, which has prompted this appeal to the Senate to learn from what’s [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

#MYEFO Budget update brings more cuts to foreign aid, health agencies

Australia’s leading international aid organisations have responded with dismay to another round of drastic cuts to foreign aid announced in the Federal Government’s Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), which also contains news of more cuts to health agencies. Treasurer Joe Hockey said foreign aid had taken “by far” the biggest hit in the latest [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Federation reform: issues raised in the Health Issues Paper

The Federal Government last week released, with little fanfare, the Issues Paper on Health to inform the White Paper on the Reform of the Federation. See the media release from Prime Minister Tony Abbott and this snapshot of the “threshold questions” to be addressed. In response, the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association today released a [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Peak medical groups vs individual advocates: who should GPs be listening to on the co-payment?

For a policy that ripped a significant chunk of funding out of general practice and, for many GPs, will mean more administrative hassles and possibly lower incomes, reaction to the Government’s copayment #2 policy from a number of stakeholder groups last week was extraordinarily mild.  In fact, the initial response from the Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Plan B: the political appeal of a GP co-payment

It’s clear from the reaction to the Government’s ‘Plan B’ for the GP co-payment that most health groups and experts don’t think the proposal makes any policy sense.  Why, then, has the Government been so insistent on pursuing a co-payment for GP services in the face of ongoing opposition?  Why focus on general practice, a [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Government’s ‘Plan B’ for copayments widely criticised

*Updated to include responses from the RDAA, NACCHO and the AMA*         The Government’s announcement of its ‘Plan B’ for Medicare has generated a wave of responses from stakeholders.  The plan, in essence, is to reduce Medicare rebates for Level B consultations for non-concessional patients but has been dressed up as a [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

New Senate report damns Federal Government health cuts, calls for a “wholesale rethink” of policy

A damning indictment of the Federal Government’s cuts across the health sector emerges from the Senate Select Committee on Health’s first interim report (the committee expects to release two of these each year until its final reporting date of 20 June 2016). The report calls for a “wholesale rethink of government policy”. The committee that [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

What’s missing from Victorian election health promises? Plenty…

For a sustainable health system, the Victorian public deserves so much more than election promises focused on more hospital beds, according to Tom Symondson, Acting Chief Executive of the Victorian Healthcare Association. His analysis of election health policies echoes some themes raised previously at this blog by Dr Christine Walker of the Chronic Illness Alliance. [...]

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