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HEALTH REFORM |

MBS/PBS/over-the-counter reviews as Opposition calls for focus on Choosing Wisely, Medical Homes

Health Minister Sussan Ley has confirmed the Federal Government is looking at removing subsidies from over-the-counter medicines like paracetamol, aspirin, and antacids that can be bought without a prescription and allowing pharmacies to discount the patient co-payment as part of negotiations over the Community Pharmacy Agreement. See her weekend announcement of the review of the [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Are co-payments dead? Or is that the sound of Medicare’s last gasps?

Dr Tim Woodruff, vice president of the Doctors Reform Society, writes: The GP co-payment is dead. So said the Prime Minister as he made his third retraction on the issue six weeks ago. However, co-payments are far from “dead, buried and cremated” – and analyses of recent policy announcements suggests we are heading ever faster [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

The Health Wrap: the vexed issues of antivaxxers, Medicare musings, weighty issues, meeting mental health needs, and measuring poverty

                It’s with pleasure I introduce this week’s Health Wrap from my colleague Megan Howe, who recently joined the Sax Institute as Publications Manager. Megan knows more than a thing or two about health reporting – she has worked in the media for 25 years, most recently as [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Mental health reform, on a crystal platter, served hot

The National Mental Health Commission’s review of mental health services provides the blueprint to begin long overdue reform to mental health services now. Consumers, their families and health professionals are looking for action.  John Mendoza’s message to the Prime Minister?  The ball’s in your court. Seize the opportunity in front of you and make change [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Professor Allan Fels: Meaningful mental health reform can happen right now, together

Last week the ABC published leaked sections the National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services which was undertaken by the National Mental Health Commission and completed last year.  Two days after the initial leaks Croakey was first to release the full report to the public. While the review has now been released, Health Minister Sussan Ley [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

What are the challenges and priorities facing the new Primary Health Networks?

This post compiles some reaction to the Federal Government’s recent announcement of the successful tenders for 28 of the 31 Primary Health Networks (more details here; map of boundaries here - or see the list at the bottom of this post). The PHNs will have Community Advisory Committees, and their six key priorities for targeted work are mental [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Diagnosing some important health gaps in the Intergenerational Report

Science broadcaster Karl Kruszelnicki has expressed “deep regret” over his role in promoting the Federal Government’s Intergenerational Report, citing its inadequate attention to climate change. However, this photo taken just a few days ago in a shopping centre in Mackay in regional Queensland shows that he is still being used to promote the report. Meanwhile, a [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

In full: the four volumes of the Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services, which the Government has been sitting on for five months

Last year, more than 2,000 individuals and organisations made submissions to the 2014 Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services, which was undertaken by the National Mental Health Commission to terms of reference provided by the Federal Government in early 2014. The final report, dated 30 November, makes clear the Commission expected the report to [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

How we’ve ended up with a bankrupt health debate…

Health policy news has been making headlines of late. There’s been: • the Federal Government’s long-awaited announcement on the new Primary Health Networks; • the move to financially penalise conscientious objectors to childhood vaccination (the merits of this approach have been questioned by some public health experts); • calls for action on mental health reform in the wake [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Private health insurance ‘carrot and stick’ reforms have failed – here’s why

Anne-marie Boxall writes: If your workplace is anything like mine, this week’s private health insurance premium increases might prompt conversations that go something like this: Can you believe our private health insurance costs $421 a month – and we are all really healthy! Some people baulk at the cost of private insurance – especially the [...]

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