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Jade, the fat girl of recent headlines, does not exist. As such.

An astute Crikey reader today pointed out an error in a Sydney Morning Herald report of this Medical Journal of Australia article about the child protection issues surrounding severely obese children. The SMH story described how the case of four-year-old Jade was reported to DOCS because of concerns about her parents’ unwillingness to do anything […]

A pressing question about private health care

Mark Ragg, whose recent report, Fine, but not fair, has generated some interesting debate about health inequalities, has a question for readers: “Thanks all who provided comment. I accept both bouquets for presentation and brickbats for not digging deeply enough. I’d like to point out, as a meager defence, that I was well aware of […]

We need a fairer health system says public hospitals boss

Prue Power, Executive Director, Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association, adds to the debate about health inequalities: “As the peak national body for public health services, including public hospitals, the AHHA has a strong commitment to equity within our health system. While Australia’s health system performs well compared with many other countries, in terms of equity […]

Private health insurance incentives widening the health gap

Catherine Beadnell, editor of the Australian Nursing Journal, adds to the ongoing Croakey debate about the unfairness built into the Australian health system: “In response to Mark Ragg’s column I think the system is unfair and the Howard Government’s efforts to reduce the Medicare burden on Treasury by propping up private health insurance has led […]

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Debate and discussion about health issues and policy

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The liver cleansing web of regulatory questions

Dr Ken Harvey, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, School of Public Health, La Trobe University, would like some questions answered about the promotion of complementary medicines on the web: “The Australian has reported my complaints to authorities over the promotion of complementary medicines on “liverdoctor.com” by Dr Sandra Cabot; real name Dr Sandra McRae, a NSW […]

Health funding a dog’s breakfast says Andrew Podger

Andrew Podger, a former Health Department secretary and public service commissioner, writes: I have no doubt Ragg is right in highlighting problems of inequality in Australia’s health system, but I am also not sure we should expect the system to achieve full equality even if it were operating well. Slowly and surely governments are recognising […]

Wait a minute, we don’t have a health SYSTEM at all…

Ian McAuley, an adjunct lecturer in public sector finance at the University of Canberra and a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development, writes: Mark Ragg’s report on our health care is an excellent snapshot, looking like the school report card of a brilliant kid with severe autism. The only disagreement I have with Ragg […]

How inequality is built into the health system

Dr James Gillespie, Deputy Director, Menzies Centre for Health Policy, writes: Mark Ragg has reminded us that the undoubted successes of Australian health care are blighted by deep inequalities. The most worrying thought that emerges from his well presented figures is that these are not just hangovers from an earlier era soon to be swept […]

Looking more deeply into cancer and inequality: Andrew Penman

Dr Andrew Penman, Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Council NSW, writes: Ragg reminds us that equity in health outcomes is a value more promoted in the health service than realised.  But there’s more to differences in cancer survival than a headline.  He needs to dig deeper to separate wheat from chaff. First point to make is […]

Health inequalities are no surprise: Gavin Mooney

Professor Gavin Mooney writes: Thanks Mark Ragg for providing more evidence that the Australian health care system is unfair. This needs to be said again and again and again. The only thing that is surprising here is that Mark is surprised. Of course the richer more articulate middle classes with English as a first language […]