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 following analysis of the current regulatory environment for pharmacy. He proposes a number of reform measures, in particular lifting current ownership restrictions, that would both save health dollars and leave the door wide open for major chain stores and corporations to enter the previously closed pharmacy market.
“William Foggin” writes:
As the Government struggles to find savings to replace those that may be lost in the Senate, it could usefully return to the pharmaceutical benefits scheme. The budget included significant savings to the budget from increasing co-payments under the scheme: a simple cost transfer from taxpayers generally to sick people. But it did nothing to address the cost of the scheme as a whole.READ MORE