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THE CONVERSATION |

For real health reform, turn the spotlight on specialists’ fees

With thanks to The Conversation for allowing us to cross publish this piece by Lesley Russell. By Lesley Russell, University of Sydney The impact of specialist fees on government and patient budgets has received little reform attention. This is despite the government’s push for controls in health-care spending and growing evidence of the affordability problems faced [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

Queensland health has a better outlook, so who deserves credit?

Andrew Wilson writes: It’s a sign of how much has changed in a few years that health has barely featured in the Queensland election campaign, despite being one of the issues that voters still say they care most about. That doesn’t mean that everything has gone smoothly in Queensland health over the past three years. But [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

The AMA and Medicare: a love-hate relationship

Lesley Russell writes: The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has emerged from the recent brouhaha over the Abbott government’s proposed Medicare reforms as both a winner in the protection of doctors’ incomes and an apparent champion of the affordability of health care for patients. [...] 

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THE CONVERSATION |

New funding models are a long-term alternative to Medicare co-payments

Peter Sivey writes: The Abbott government is struggling with its Medicare co-payment reform, scrapping the latest version for a period of consultation, starting this week. The government claims it wants to make Medicare sustainable by controlling costs. However the proposed reforms are piecemeal and inequitable, antagonising Medicare’s stakeholders [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

Should scientists work with industry on alcohol policy?

Kypros Kypri writes: It’s undeniable that there’s an irreconcilable conflict of interest in the alcohol industry being involved in developing health policy. And by participating in meetings involving industry representatives, scientists risk giving credibility to a fundamentally flawed process that’s unlikely to produce sound policy. Let me explain why this is with examples of two [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

New year, same approach: implications of the Fed Govt’s confidence trick on Medicare

Much happened on the health front in the closing weeks of 2014, not least with the appointment of a new Health Minister Sussan Ley. See some interim advice to the new Minister and judgements on the contributions of former Minister Peter Dutton from Croakey contributors. The Federal Government also finally came up with a Plan [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

Australia’s first Physician Assistant graduates hold promise to better health care access

Today has been a landmark day in Australian health, particularly for rural and regional areas, with the country’s first graduation of a cohort of bachelor degree trained physician assistants from James Cook University. Croakey has published a number of reports – see this one and the links below - on the benefits of physician assistants, and the [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

Peak medical groups vs individual advocates: who should GPs be listening to on the co-payment?

For a policy that ripped a significant chunk of funding out of general practice and, for many GPs, will mean more administrative hassles and possibly lower incomes, reaction to the Government’s copayment #2 policy from a number of stakeholder groups last week was extraordinarily mild.  In fact, the initial response from the Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

Indigenous Australians can take pride in disability policy gains

John Gilroy and Nicholas Biddle write: The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD), December 3, is important for commemorating the successes and efforts of the disability rights movement. The theme this year is Sustainable Development. Along with other Indigenous peoples worldwide, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have much to celebrate. At the same time, [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

China’s ‘white gold’ infant formula rush comes at a public health cost

Karleen Gribble and Julie Smith write: Alongside this week’s announcement of a free trade deal between China and Australia came reports of Gina Rinehart’s investment in a Queensland dairy operation to supply infant formula to China. Australia’s richest woman built her fortune on iron ore, but Rinehart’s A$500 million investment makes her a major player in [...]

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