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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Out-of-Pocket Inquiry Report – filling a major policy vacuum

On 22 August the Senate Community Affairs Committee released the report of its Inquiry into Out-of-Pocket costs in Australian health care.  This is a comprehensive document, which comprehensively addresses a long-neglected area of health policy and highlights the inequity and inefficiency of our current approach to out-of-pocket costs in the Australian health system.   The Committee [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

EDDIE THE EXPERTS IN THE HEALTH SYSTEM ARE EVERYWHERE

Who should we be listening to in the debate over co-payments in the health system? Why do Governments take advice from unions, such as the AMA, with clear vested interests, rather than from expert researchers and consumer groups?  In the following piece, Anne Cahill Lambert builds on Marie McInerney’s work on the co-payment to question [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Is it time to revisit pharmacy ownership?

With the Government desperately trying to revive a co-payment policy that has been declared DOA by Senate balance-of-power holder Clive Palmer, attention is turning to other areas of health financing that could deliver Budget savings.  A senior health policy analyst and regular Croakey contributor who writes under the name of “William Foggin” has provided the [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Unhealthy haste? What are the implications of outsourcing Medicare, PBS claims and services?

Less than two weeks ago the Federal Government called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from the private sector to provide claims and payment services for Medicare (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), a $29 billion operation currently managed by the Department of Human Services. The EOI closes this Friday, 22 August. Such a privatisation [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Modernising Medicare: Don’t reinvent the wheel, just use the co-payments we already have.

 Margaret Faux writes: It seems that despite overwhelming opposition to the co-payment plan, the Abbott government is determined to press ahead, though success in the Senate may be challenging. Most Australians by now would agree that a considered and coordinated multipronged reform approach is more likely to produce sustainable outcomes and ensure the long term [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

NCDs: Time for a policy push for Global Health’s poor cousin.

NCDs are emerging as the major global health threat of the future yet they attract a minimal amount of global health spending. Where does the gap lie: policy or evidence? In an article originally published in WhyDev, Sam Byfield, from the Nossal Institute of Global Health, looks behind the numbers. Sam Byfield writes: NCDs (including cancers, cardio-vascular diseases, chronic [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Alcohol-related harms unacceptable – new research shows

A new report into the impact of alcohol-related harms on our community has found that alcohol kills four times as many Australians every year as those killed on our roads. Michael Thorn, Chief Executive, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, outlines the findings of the new research and calls for urgent policy and legislative action [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

Is an annual fee the answer to paying for healthcare?

The way we fund and pay for healthcare can have a significant impact on both the equity and the efficiency of our health system. A single, unified funder for all health care is often held up as the ‘holy grail’ of health funding systems but this goal may be unachievable in the context of our existing federated [...]

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HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS |

AHCRA Communique highlights the role of primary health care

In mid-July thirty-seven member organisations of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) came together from around Australia for the National Health Reform Summit to assess the key needs and issues in the Australian health system. Sixty participants were challenged and informed by a range of stimulating speakers from diverse organisations and perspectives. At the [...]

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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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