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HEALTH REFORM |

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 REFORM |

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 REFORM |

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 REFORM |

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 REFORM |

Action on the social determinants of health – views from inside the policy process

Australian politicians and policy makers still struggle to understand how to translate growing evidence around the social determinants of health  into policy action. Researchers Dr Gemma Carey and Brad Crammond have interviewed a range of politicians, senior past and present bureaucrats, government advisors and lobbyists to explore why and how that can be shifted. Their [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Closed for business…

(This post was updated on July 3, 4 and 20 – see bottom of post) Today marks the end of an era, for many organisations, their employees and those who have relied upon or been part of their work. The Australian National Preventive Health Agency *** The COAG Reform Council The final statement from John [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Why New South Wales abortion law should be decriminalised

Abortion legislation in New South Wales and Queensland is the “most severe and antiquated” in Australia and the most urgently in need of rescission, says medical specialist Caroline de Costa. That’s why, she says, New South Wales Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi’s bill towards decriminalisation should be supported by politicians across the spectrum. *** Caroline de [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Closing the gap in Indigenous health: how will we know?

Two important reports on Indigenous health were released today amid continuing fears about the future of independent reporting and accountability on health and welfare in Australia in the wake of the axing and merger of key Federal Government agencies. At its national conference today, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisaton (NACCHO) expressed “grave concerns” [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

Living longer, but chronic disease toll rising: Australia’s 14th biennial health report card (and what of its own future?)

We are living longer, have lower death rates for cancer and many other diseases, and a health system that people say they are mostly happy with. But chronic diseases related to our ageing population as well as to lifestyles and health habits are taking an increasing toll. That’s the verdict of Australia’s Health 2014, the [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

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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