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PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS SCHEME |

Outsourcing Medicare: Is it as easy as π?

Following on from the range of issues raised by Croakey contributors about the outsourcing of MBS and PBS payments, Margaret Faux discusses the most appropriate role for the private sector in supporting core government functions and the risks involved when private sector interests conflict with the central role of government. She writes: In a U.S [...]

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PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS SCHEME |

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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PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS SCHEME |

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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PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS SCHEME |

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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PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS SCHEME |

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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PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS SCHEME |

#Budget2014 medical research fund is “unfair and unethical”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared on ABC Radio National’s Breakfast program this morning: “There are no cuts to health or education. In health, all of the money we are saving is going into the Medical Research Investment Fund and that’s going to be dedicated to finding the treatments and the cures of the future that [...]

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PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS SCHEME |

More strong verdicts on the Audit Commission’s “cruel, unfair, ignorant” proposals on health

This post compiles further reaction to health related recommendations of the National Commission of Audit, whose report to the Federal Government was released yesterday. First up is an impassioned response from Tim Woodruff, vice president of the Doctors Reform Society, on expansion of private health insurance and the proposals to impose a $15 GP co-payment [...]

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PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS SCHEME |

Proposals for health budget savings

It’s fair to say that Peter Dutton has one of the more difficult jobs in Federal Parliament – particularly at the moment, with just over a month to go before the Federal Budget.  Under pressure from a Treasurer desperate to deliver Budget savings, the Health Minister will need to offer up something in his rapidly [...]

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PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS SCHEME |

TPP update: Talks stall as concern grows

Last week Dr Deb Gleeson updated us on her plans to attend the final meeting of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in order to continue raising concerns about the impact of the agreement on health in Australia and other nations.  Yesterday she tweeted the following: “URGENT NEWS FROM SINGAPORE: Australia has caved in to US [...]

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PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS SCHEME |

Weighing up the Coalition’s health policy (and finding it pretty light-on)

When weighing up the various election policies through a health lens, some of the most important issues to consider are: 1. How do the policies address climate change, the major public health issue that we – as Australians, as the planet – are facing? 2. How are health inequalities addressed? Is there an explicit commitment [...]

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