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Gough Whitlam’s life and legacy: experts respond

Gough Whitlam’s life and legacy: experts respond

Many thanks to The Conversation for allowing us to repost this overview of the legacy of Gough Whitlam. By Richard Holden, UNSW Australia Business School; Anne-marie Boxall, University of Sydney; Diana Perche; Hannah Forsyth, Australian Catholic University; Ian Lowe, Griffith University; Joanna Mendelssohn; Jo Caust, University of Melbourne; Margaret McKenzie, Deakin University; Mark Beeson, Murdoch […]

Welcome to Health Minister Dutton’s alternative universe – where “strengthening Medicare” means reducing access

Welcome to Health Minister Dutton’s alternative universe – where “strengthening Medicare” means reducing access

Health Minister Peter Dutton’s expression appeared most sincere today at the National Press Club when he spoke about strengthening Medicare, which he described as “much-loved” by the public and the Government. No matter that the Budget reveals a clear lack of commitment to enhancing universal health care, as well as a distinct lack of interest, […]

The Health Wrap: The latest cancer statistics, alcohol law reforms and challenges to the obesity battle

The Health Wrap: The latest cancer statistics, alcohol law reforms and challenges to the obesity battle

By Melissa Davey Welcome back to the fortnightly Health Wrap, and the first for 2014.  We hope your start to the year has been a healthy one. There have been some hot health topics in the headlines for the past couple of weeks, and they have particularly focussed on alcohol and cancer. World Cancer Day […]

Reporting from a meeting of health leaders: options for future reforms

Reporting from a meeting of health leaders: options for future reforms

Options for reducing waste in health spending and for structural reform were highlighted at a roundtable meeting held in Canberra last week to celebrate Medicare’s 30th birthday. As previously mentioned, the meeting was organised by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association and the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney. Thanks to […]

Some 30th birthday wishes for Medicare

Some 30th birthday wishes for Medicare

Plenty of thoughtful birthday wishes are on offer for Medicare, which officially turns 30 tomorrow (1 February). However, as public policy analyst John Menadue points out, the origins of our national health insurance scheme can be traced back to the Whitlam Government’s 1974 passage of Medibank legislation, and before that to a seminal meeting one […]

Beyond band-aids: Medicare needs structural reform

Beyond band-aids: Medicare needs structural reform

The crew at The Medical Journal of Australia must be feeling rather pleased this week by the publicity and debate generated via this week’s edition, particularly the articles on Medicare by Dr Tony Webber and on corporatisation of medicine by Ray Moynihan. Below is some wider commentary, reproduced from The Conversation, with articles from: • […]

A new Croakey project: Naked Doctor, profiling overdiagnosis and overtreatment

A new Croakey project: Naked Doctor, profiling overdiagnosis and overtreatment

Up to $3 billion of public money is wasted each year under Medicare, according to estimates by Dr Tony Webber, who headed the Professional Services Review for more than six years. His article in today’s Medical Journal of Australia – which has drawn widespread media coverage – argues that poor policy (such as the Medicare […]

Some important questions about whether child health checks should be part of welfare reform

Some important questions about whether child health checks should be part of welfare reform

Does a medical model or a social health framework provide the most equitable and effective approach for improving the health of children (and thus of future adults and communities), particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds? This seems to be a critical issue to consider when evaluating the intent and impact of the Federal Government move to […]

A reality check for the AMA’s contrary stance on Medicare Locals

A reality check for the AMA’s contrary stance on Medicare Locals

The timing of the AMA’s dummy spit about the new primary health care organisations to be known as Medicare Locals (MLs) was impeccable. The AMA announced last Friday that its Federal Council had voted to oppose MLs. AMA President  Dr Andrew Pesce said the AMA could not support primary care reforms that “do not guarantee […]

We need to ensure the extra investment in health is put to the best use

We need to ensure the extra investment in health is put to the best use

The health budget contains plenty of new initiatives that warrant careful implementation and evaluation. But there is still a “troubling sense that initiatives are being hastily stitched together to meet electoral rather than health priorities”, cautions Professor Philip Davies, a former senior executive of the Department of Health and Ageing, and now Professor of Health […]