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HEALTH REFORM |

Warning, warning – these are weird times when zombies are attacking the health system

In a sign of the general level of weirdness surrounding recent health policy debates, the AMA is calling on the Government to “put an end to the crazy policy speculation being floated in the media”. So weird and worrying are the signs, in fact, that Dr Tim Senior is fearing zombie apocalypse. And yes, you [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Hospital workforce reform: better jobs and more care

Peter Breadon writes: Employees are the public hospital system’s most valuable resource, and its biggest cost. Wages account for nearly 70% of recurrent hospital spending. To keep hospital care affordable in a time of rising demand, it’s vital that skills are used to the full. Yet many professionals work well below their skill level. Does it take 15 [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Rationing care vs increasing taxes – the health system sustainability myth

Stephen Duckett writes: In the lead-up to the May budget, the seemingly inexorable rise in health spending has unleashed a “sustainability panic”: rhetoric that health system costs are out of control and drastic measures are needed to make the system affordable. Sustainability panic is often used to justify shifting the burden of controlling health spending from the [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

The Health Wrap: Workplace mental health, an Indigenous health mix-bag, and health budget predictions

By Melissa Davey Employee well-being is being addressed, but needs work Mental health in the workplace is becoming an increasingly discussed issue as mental illness becomes less stigmatised, and workplaces are seen as key partners in its prevention and treatment. Writing for Croakey, Jaelea Skehan and Brian Kelly say it is promising to see workplaces given a [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Finding savings in healthcare: moving from theory to reality

With a tough federal Budget fast approaching, many in the health sector are offering up suggestions for where the Abbott Government might find savings. Some of these options were outlined in an article published in Croakey earlier this week. They include: cutting the price paid for generic drugs and encouraging substituting brand name drugs with [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Comprehensive Primary Health Care – what works? A Research Symposium

Comprehensive and integrated primary care is well documented in the research literature as providing the most cost-effective and equitable mechanism for preventing and managing chronic disease.  Yet despite a growing body of research supporting this form of care, it often appears to be put in the ‘too hard’ basket of governments and policy makers. This [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Want Medicare savings? Stop paying for private hospitals

Peter Sivey writes: The polls this week suggest half of Australians think the Abbott government should reduce the cost of Medicare. My solution? Claw back some of the A$9 billion the government pays to private hospitals. Consider my experience … A few years ago I twisted my knee playing football. My GP, maybe after estimating my salary, suggested [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

What do the polls tell us about bulkbilling co-payments?

The opinion poll released on Monday in the Fairfax media is being interpreted by some commentators as supporting the proposal for a GP bulkbilling co-payment, reportedly under consideration by the Abbott Government.    Around half of the people polled said that they supported charging a means-tested co-payment for bulkbilled GP services.  The same proportion of people [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare: some of the successes and challenges

The Lowitja Institute’s second National Conference on Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care kicked off in Melbourne yesterday. Marie McInerney reports: Continuous quality improvement (CQI) is emerging as a major success factor in improving Indigenous primary health and health care in Australia – but sector leaders say there [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Clearing the air on managed care

Managed care has somewhat of a negative reputation in Australia but is this view justified? Walter Kmet, CEO of WentWest and AHHA councillor, argues that we need a take a rational and considered look at managed care and its potential role within our health system, or risk it being imposed on us with less than optimum results.  [...]

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