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Memo to Canberra: How are other countries finding billions for health care? Ending fossil fuel subsidies

There’s confusion about what is or isn’t on the table for cuts after Health Minister Sussan Ley conceded the Senate won’t pass increased patient contributions for PBS drugs, but said the $1 billion ‘savings’ will have to be found elsewhere. See more below for how it unfolded. But if the Minister and the Federal Government […]

Are co-payments dead? Or is that the sound of Medicare's last gasps?

Dr Tim Woodruff, vice president of the Doctors Reform Society, writes: The GP co-payment is dead. So said the Prime Minister as he made his third retraction on the issue six weeks ago. However, co-payments are far from “dead, buried and cremated” – and analyses of recent policy announcements suggests we are heading ever faster […]

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 […]

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 […]