May, 2015

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What will it take to improve rural health? Internet, internet, internet…

, May 26, 2015

Jennifer Doggett reports: One of the most important outcomes from the National Rural Health Conference in Darwin will be a set of recommendations for action to improve health services in rural and remote areas and to overcome some of the barriers to good health. These recommendations will be developed via a collaborative and structured process open to […]
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The Health Wrap: A budget health check; medical school war of words; eyes on Ebola; pharmacy deal dispensed; all things equal

, May 24, 2015

                This week’s Health Wrap is compiled by my colleague Megan Howe, the Sax Institute’s Publications Manager. Enjoy the Wrap and tweet us via @medicalmedia or @meghowe68 if you have any ideas for future issues. By Megan Howe A budget health check The Federal Budget’s impact on health […]
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Not all “Captain Chaos” but much confusion, concern on post-Budget health issues

, May 19, 2015

There’s plenty of confusion, contention and concern emerging still out of last week’s Federal Budget on health, with particular uncertainty around after hours GP services. Here’s a quick wrap on some of the issues – complete with glossy illustration from the government’s (once far more dreary-looking) official Budget website pages. Health doesn’t get a big […]
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#Budget2015: Health takes a hit, devil may be in the detail – rolling reactions

, May 12, 2015

Health has taken another hit in the 2015-16 Federal Budget, with nearly $2 billion cut from the health system over the next five years. There’s particular concern around $1 billion in “savings” from a range of flexible funds and grants for preventative health research, chronic disease prevention and rural outreach (click twice to enlarge pic below), […]

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

, Mar 19, 2015

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 […]

Dental education in Australia “at a turning point”: how to sustain quality improvement?

, Jan 07, 2015

This post below is the first of two contributed to Croakey by leading Australian dental academics, looking at both dental education priorities and equity in dental care. The second part can be read here. *** Professors Estie Kruger,  Laurie Walsh and Marc Tennant write: Dental education accreditation: What is needed to sustain quality improvement for […]
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Australia’s first Physician Assistant graduates hold promise to better health care access

, Dec 17, 2014

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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Federation reform: issues raised in the Health Issues Paper

, Dec 15, 2014

The Federal Government last week released, with little fanfare, the Issues Paper on Health to inform the White Paper on the Reform of the Federation. See the media release from Prime Minister Tony Abbott and this snapshot of the “threshold questions” to be addressed. In response, the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association today released a […]
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Poetry in public health: 4 new poems by Owen Bullock

, Nov 18, 2014

Here is the latest chapter in Croakey’s Poems of Public Health by Canberra poet Owen Bullock, with four new pieces – including one (ever) timely reflection on constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Read the background to this occasional feature and his previous Poems of Public Health, where he wrote ‘on demand’ […]
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A ‘last mile’ approach to improving broadband in more remote areas

, Nov 18, 2014

In this latest instalment of a rural health series, Helen Hopkins, Policy Adviser at the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) highlights how failing to improve broadband access in remote areas can block access to health care and entrench other disadvantage. The other instalments, also inspired by the NRHA’s recent CouncilFest, can be read here: Love rural? […]

Why aren’t paramedics registered?

, Nov 07, 2014

Ruth Townsend writes in this post below that if  you completed a first aid course last weekend then you could call yourself a paramedic. She asks how the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council can justify its decision last month to defer the inclusion of paramedics on the Australian Health Practitioner register, a move that has […]

Simulation and scepticism: reflections on road blocks to integrated health care

, Nov 06, 2014

Croakey recently published this report on an Integrated Care Simulation run by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) in Canberra that invited around 85 health leaders to come together to road test three major potential health policy initiatives: the introduction of bundled care packages for people with chronic diseases a role for private health […]
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The Health Wrap: Ebola evidence goes MIA; the cost of obesity; investing in our kids

, Nov 03, 2014

                    By Kellie Bisset Ebola evidence goes Missing in Action Ebola continued to dominate health headlines this past fortnight as Western media outlets turned their attention from the disease toll to the appropriate emergency response and the political ramifications of quarantine at home. A key theme […]
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Abbott Government’s first year in office: what’s the verdict on health?

, Sep 05, 2014

This Sunday marks the first anniversary of the election of the Abbott Government. We’ll leave it up to Croakey readers to characterise the year in health – feel free to post (publishable) comments and we’ll share them. This post below from The Conversation by Jim Gillespie, Deputy Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy […]
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It’s about the wellbeing of all of us, not just doctors: concerns re AMA copayment deal

, Aug 21, 2014

(This post has been updated to link to include the AMA’s co-payment proposal and some Twitter reaction) “When it comes to health costs, no decision about us should be taken without us.” The national peak community and health consumer groups – the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), Consumers Health Forum, and Public Health Association […]

J’Accuse: call on health professionals to speak out on Australia’s asylum seeker policies

, Aug 18, 2014

Australian psychiatrist and researcher Professor Louise Newman, director of the Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology at Monash University, has long led the way on the devastating impact of detention on asylum seekers, particularly children. She is spokeswoman for this open letter, signed by more than 200 prominent doctors, lawyers, academics and refugee advocates, that […]
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GP co-payments – deregulation of the bulk billing market.

, Jul 09, 2014

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 […]

Frontline health, legal services, and what’s crucial behind them

, Jul 08, 2014

The Federal Government talks much about shifting funding to “frontline services – where people need them”. It sounds obvious, until we look at what’s lost from the backline. In the first of two posts below, doctor and lawyer Dr Fiona Lander looks at new restrictions on law reform advocacy by community legal centres (CLCs). Noting the […]
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FIFO/DIDO workers and health services in rural & remote Australia

, Jul 08, 2014

The rapid growth in the fly-in fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in drive-out (DIDO) workforce in Australia’s rural and remote areas has been accompanied by claims that FIFO/DIDO workers, particularly miners and other resources sector workers, place substantial burdens on rural/remote health services. This latest update from the Primary Health Care Research and Information Service examines the […]
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Living longer, but chronic disease toll rising: Australia’s 14th biennial health report card (and what of its own future?)

, Jun 25, 2014

We are living longer, have lower death rates for cancer and many other diseases, and a health system that people say they are mostly happy with. But chronic diseases related to our ageing population as well as to lifestyles and health habits are taking an increasing toll. That’s the verdict of Australia’s Health 2014, the […]