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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

What are the challenges and priorities facing the new Primary Health Networks?

This post compiles some reaction to the Federal Government’s recent announcement of the successful tenders for 28 of the 31 Primary Health Networks (more details here; map of boundaries here - or see the list at the bottom of this post). The PHNs will have Community Advisory Committees, and their six key priorities for targeted work are mental [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

The debate we’re yet to have about private health insurance

In the final instalment of The Conversation’s series Private health insurance in Australia, Lesley Russell, Adjunct Associate Professor at the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney, asks whether Australians need private health insurance, and what a two-tiered system means for quality, access and equity: The six previous papers in this series highlight [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

Private health insurance ‘carrot and stick’ reforms have failed – here’s why

Anne-marie Boxall writes: If your workplace is anything like mine, this week’s private health insurance premium increases might prompt conversations that go something like this: Can you believe our private health insurance costs $421 a month – and we are all really healthy! Some people baulk at the cost of private insurance – especially the [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

Tax reform promises focus not just on how much, but how revenue raised, while Budget cuts still major concern

Yesterday Treasurer Joe Hockey released the Federal Government’s long-awaited discussion paper on tax reform, which comes just five years after the long-awaited Australia’s Future Tax System Review for the Labor Government by former Treasury Head Ken Henry. Among other measures, the paper advocates broadening the GST and reducing income and company taxes,  along with a [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

Q&A: What can we learn from the US Choosing Wisely campaign to cut down unnecessary tests, treatment?

  Below is the second in a series of posts that Croakey is running on the ground-breaking Choosing Wisely campaign, which will launch in Australia on 29 April. The campaign focuses on cutting down the numbers of unnecessary medical tests and treatment and has been successful in the USA and Canada in reducing non-evidenced based interventions. [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

What are the health issues at stake when #NSWvotes?

NSW voters are expected to return Mike Baird’s Coalition Government this weekend (see reports at The Conversation and The Guardian), but the results in the Upper House are less certain, as former MP Rob Oakeshott pointed out at Croakey earlier this week. What are the health issues and concerns at play? Croakey contributors give their [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

Time for policy rethink as frequent GP attenders account for 41% of costs

Stephen Duckett writes: The Commonwealth government’s big idea for primary health care in the past year was to charge everyone who visits the GP a A$7 co-payment. The idea had many problems – it could have led to a blowout in emergency department demand; it was inequitable; and it may not have worked anyway. It has [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

2015 #ClosetheGap: focus on remote communities, funding cuts, & improving the Indigenous ‘Heart Health Story’

*Post updated with new statement from Close the Gap campaign Close The Gap Campaign Co-Chairs Kirstie Parker and Mick Gooda have called on the West Australian and Federal government to properly assess the health and wellbeing impacts of closing remote communities in WA, saying decisions that are being made without consultation are “premature and damaging”. [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

‘Unfair and arbitrary. Is the only thing new in the Indigenous Advancement Strategy a new round of a massive funding cuts?’

Indigenous leader Pat Dodson – who revealed he has met Prime Minister Tony Abbott only once, and then  in passing – said last week that removal of frontline services from Indigenous organisations working towards Closing the Gap in Indigenous health “would seem counter intuitive to any fair-minded Australian”.  But that, he said in this Age [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

Why Private Health Insurance won’t improve our health

As highlighted by the Parliamentary Library, the introduction of private health insurance (PHI) into primary health care raises some significant policy and regulatory challenges.  In the following piece Dr Tim Senior expands on some of these issues and outlines implications of this move for population health, equity, health care costs and ultimately the future of our public health system.   [...]

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