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HEALTH REFORM |

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 REFORM |

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 REFORM |

And still the evidence and argument mount against a $7 GP co-payment.

The Senate’s Community Affairs References Committee on Friday published its findings on out of pocket costs in Australian healthcare, saying that imposing additional costs would make it harder for people, particularly in vulnerable groups to access primary care, which would not only be at the cost of their own health but to the whole system, [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

It’s about the wellbeing of all of us, not just doctors: concerns re AMA copayment deal

(This post has been updated to link to include the AMA’s co-payment proposal and some Twitter reaction) “When it comes to health costs, no decision about us should be taken without us.” The national peak community and health consumer groups – the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), Consumers Health Forum, and Public Health Association [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

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 REFORM |

“The accidental logic of health policy in Australia” – some progressive ideas for reform

A new book aims to provide an antidote to policy failures arising out of “an ideology built upon faith in markets and a distrust of governments”. The authors of the health chapter, Professor Fran Baum and Professor Judith Dwyer, summarise below their contribution to Australian Public Policy: Progressive Ideas in the Neoliberal Ascendency.  “Overall, our message echoes [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

How inequality creates complex health and policy challenges

In the fourth edition of his crowd-funded Wonky Health column, Dr Tim Senior examines evidence from around the world about the health needs of disadvantaged peoples, reporting that poorer people tend to develop more complex medical problems and at a younger age than richer people. While this is a critical area of policy that needs addressing, [...]

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HEALTH REFORM |

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 REFORM |

“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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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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