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MEDICARE LOCALS |

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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MEDICARE LOCALS |

Medicare Locals face a political and public relations battle

A recent article in the News Ltd press demonstrates the political, media and public relations challenges facing Medicare Locals (MLs) in the review of their roles and functions, currently being overseen by former Chief Medical Officer Dr John Horwath. The article extensively covers the AMA’s submission to the review, including the results of a ‘survey’ undertaken by the AMA on [...]

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MEDICARE LOCALS |

What does it take to drive regional health reform? Your chance to ask all about it…

I am delighted to announce that Carol Bennett, who has only just started her new job as CEO of the Hunter Medicare Local in NSW, after leading the Consumers Health Forum for five years, is in the chair at @WePublicHealth this week. It will be an opportunity to hear her thoughts on primary healthcare reform [...]

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MEDICARE LOCALS |

For a better health system, we need to move beyond fee-for-service payments

Croakey has lost count of the number of contributors who have written here of the need to reform the fee-for-service model that underpins so much healthcare (for a recent sampling, see this by Professor Peter Brooks, and the comment here from Professor Stephen Leeder). Fee-for-service, it is widely agreed, is not an efficient mechanism for [...]

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MEDICARE LOCALS |

Wrapping the latest news on public health and people power

Tackling racism With so much talk about the need to address the social determinants of health, it’s good to see an effort to tackle an important problem that affects so many people. A new app highlights the debilitating effects of “everyday racism”, according to this statement from Deakin University, and encourages people to live for [...]

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MEDICARE LOCALS |

Let Medicare Locals find their feet and improve primary care

Joan Corbett writes: Primary health care in Australia is a messy beast, with many heads and all sorts of body parts. But it’s centrally important because it plays a major role in achieving public health outcomes, such as better co-ordinated care for people with chronic conditions, good immunisation rates and programs to help people quit smoking and [...]

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MEDICARE LOCALS |

Mind the gap: $6 GP visit proposal ignores the evidence

Many thanks to the Conversation for allowing us to republish this by Jim Gillespie, University of Sydney Incremental creep and massive holes in universal health coverage (think dental care) have left many Australians questioning whether there’s any such thing as “free health care”. One recent study estimated households now pay directly for almost 25% of the [...]

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MEDICARE LOCALS |

Medicare Locals under review: what Croakey contributors (and others) want to see, and what they fear

The future of Australia’s fledgling Medicare Locals – set up to integrate the fragmented primary health care sector – is officially under review. Many of those with a stake in that future rushed to lodge submissions by the December 23 deadline, following the long-awaited mid-December announcement on the review by Health Minister Peter Dutton which [...]

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MEDICARE LOCALS |

What will it take to overcome the barriers to wider use of “hospital in the home” care?

As previously reported at Croakey, there is considerable evidence that caring for patients at home rather than in hospitals (whether through avoiding admissions or early discharge) saves both money and lives. But many barriers remain to a greater uptake of Hospital in the Home programs, and Medicare Locals have an important role in helping to [...]

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MEDICARE LOCALS |

A timely call for eHealth investments to focus on primary care and community health settings

Submissions are being sought for a review of Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR) that is due to report back to Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton by the middle of next month. The panel is chaired by Richard Royle, Executive Director of the UnitingCare Health group in Queensland and Vice-President of the Australian Private Hospitals [...]

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