July, 2010

Where was health in the ‘great’ debate? At least some of the audience were left wondering…

, Jul 25, 2010

The previous Croakey post noted the glaring absence of health from the election campaign. If voters are hanging on health policy discussion to determine how they swing, tonight’s non-debate offers no help. The leaders and their questioners were seemingly uninterested in discussing health in any substantive way. Does this matter? Given the standard of policy […]

Problems with media coverage of health policy…and some suggested solutions

, Jun 29, 2010

Health policy, let’s be honest, is a turn off for most media managers and editors. Given a choice between a cancer breakthrough (even if it is only in rats) and a change to how health services are delivered or financed, you know which one will get the splash. Who can blame them, really. Health policy […]

Mega-wrap of latest news in media and health (part 1)

, May 31, 2010

How could the quality of health reporting be lifted? Here are some suggestions from recent initiatives and articles, in the first part of a mega-wrap covering media and health-related issues. It can’t be a coincidence that so many of these come from the US, can it? • A US hospital has given a journalist free […]

Some more pieces in the swine flu puzzle, but the overall picture is still lacking

, Jan 18, 2010

Some more pieces in the swine flu puzzle appear in today’s edition of the Medical Journal of Australia (some of the articles were previously rapid online publications). When you put them together, the impression is that there are many more pieces still missing. The overall pandemic picture is incomplete, highlighting many gaps in knowledge – […]

Hospital management is too important to leave to medicos

, Nov 02, 2009

A call for hospital management to return to arrangements of the past has drawn fire from former senior health service manager Michael Moodie and health economist Professor Gavin Mooney. They write: “John Graham’s suggestion for saving NSW hospitals, as outlined in his recent Centre for Independent Studies monologue, dreams of hospitals managing their own affairs […]

Has our response to swine flu gone over the top? Maybe, maybe not…

, Jun 25, 2009

Given the relative mildness of swine flu, has Australia’s response been appropriate? It’s a worthy question that will, no doubt, be debated for some time. In the journal Rural and Remote Health, Dr Alexander Hamilton, a senior resident medical officer at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, puts forward one view. While many believe the response […]

Lesley Russell: How the bean counters beat the policy wonks

, May 18, 2009

Dr Lesley Russell, of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, has been analysing what the budget means for health policy and finds it lacking: The exigencies of the global financial crisis and its consequences always meant that the 2009-10 budget was going to be more about targeted new spending and lots of budget cuts in […]

Stephen Leeder calls for some clarity in the private health insurance muddle

, May 15, 2009

I’ve been struck by how public debate has framed changes to the private health insurance rebate as “an attack on middle class welfare”. This distracts attention from the arguably more important issue that PHI is considered by many to be an inefficient, inequitable way of funding health care. It also seems to undermine community understanding […]

Hearing one thing, but doing another?

, May 13, 2009

Questions are being asked about whether there is a pattern of inconsistency emerging. First we have evidence, as per the previous post, that the Government is planning something quite different for the National Preventive Health Agency than what the experts have recommended for it. Now compare and contrast the following two statements – the first […]

The hidden nasties in the health budget

, May 13, 2009

A well-placed anonymous source has identified some cutbacks in critical areas which, strangely enough, the Budget press releases are not spruiking. The source also raises some pertinent issues about the future of the National Preventive Health Agency. The source writes: “I think Yvonne Luxford may be wrong  in her comment, on Croakey, that “the much […]