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In full: the four volumes of the Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services, which the Government has been sitting on for five months

Last year, more than 2,000 individuals and organisations made submissions to the 2014 Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services, which was undertaken by the National Mental Health Commission to terms of reference provided by the Federal Government in early 2014. The final report, dated 30 November, makes clear the Commission expected the report to [...]

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How we’ve ended up with a bankrupt health debate…

Health policy news has been making headlines of late. There’s been: • the Federal Government’s long-awaited announcement on the new Primary Health Networks; • the move to financially penalise conscientious objectors to childhood vaccination (the merits of this approach have been questioned by some public health experts); • calls for action on mental health reform in the wake [...]

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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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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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Reform of the Federation and health: Opportunities for change

“While we have a good health system, it is not good for all, and it can be made better.” By Dr Linc Thurecht and Alison Verhoeven, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association  As a contribution to the Reform of the Federation process, on 16 March 2015 the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) brought together over [...]

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The real health issues facing NSW, without the spin

Andrew Wilson writes: What happens when you bring a state health minister face-to-face with her two main challengers, fronting a roomful of health experts, without any TV cameras or dictaphones to leap on any “gaffes” or stumbles? What you can get is a genuinely informative debate, largely free of three-second soundbites. I saw this late [...]

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The Health Wrap: RIP copayment; choice vs culture; future proofing research infrastructure; on matters of evidence

                By Kellie Bisset RIP copayment As Prime Minister Tony Abbott ended ongoing criticisms of the government’s GP copayment proposal by  declaring it “dead, buried and cremated”, health groups warned that the sting might just be in the tail. A Medicare rebate freeze until 2018 might save $1.3 [...]

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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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Federation reform: A solution in search of a problem.

The Federation Reform consultation process is now underway.  Readers may remember that the health issues paper was release in December last year and the process has been seen by groups such as AHHA as a possibility to improve healthcare. At the time a senior health policy analyst and regular Croakey contributor,  writing under the pen [...]

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Calling for health reform – that won’t be a health hazard

Dr Frank Jones, a GP from Mandurah in WA and president of the Royal Australian College of GPs, is worth watching in this presentation made yesterday to the Senate Select Committee inquiring into federal health policy. When asked, what is the one thing he would tell a new PM (if this eventuates), he replied: “Countries with [...]

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