Articles on Primary health care

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New data shows many Australians aren’t seeing their doctors because it costs too much. from shutterstock.com

Cost of doctor visits putting off rural Australians: report

In some parts of Australia, patients are twice to three times more likely to avoid seeing their GP because they can't afford it, according to figures released today.
A new approach should include social supports, such as living skills and assistance obtaining housing and employment. Ollyy/Shutterstock

From asylums to GP clinics: the missing middle in mental health care

On closing the asylums, Australia failed to invest in an alternative model of community mental health care. So there are few alternatives between the GP surgery and the hospital emergency department.
South Africa’s National Health Insurance aims to ensure universal access to health care – one of the most persistent structural inequalities. Shutterstock

South Africa can’t lose its nerve on universal health care

The South African government's plan to provide universal access to health care seems to be slipping off its priority list.
New modelling shows the Medicare rebate freeze will leave GPs A$8.43 worse off per consultation. DIBP images/Flickr

High cost of GP rebate freeze may see co-payments rise from the dead

With GPs facing greater economic pressure and the health minister considering legislative change to make it easier for GP to charge them, GP co-payments, like Lazarus, may rise again from the dead.
Crowding in refugee and internal displacement camps create conditions ripe for disease transmission.

Fixing broken health systems in the aftermath of conflict

Conflict continues to afflict the globe at a seemingly undiminished rate. The world’s attention is focused on Syria and Iraq in an escalating conflict that has resulted in about three million refugees…
An identical patient with an identical presenting symptom of ‘tension headache’ might lead to a thousand different discussions. DIBP images

GP consultations are often more complicated than you think

When we think of what defines a medical consultation, we quite reasonably think of the “presenting complaint”: the medical problem which the patient brings to the doctor. In movies, literature, common…
Co-payments are an unfair tool for reducing health costs. Alex E. Proimos

Six dollar co-payment to see a doctor: a GP’s view

As a GP, when I prescribe a drug, I need to know its likely benefits and risks, and I need to base my decision-making on the best available evidence. I’d like to think the same principle applies to the…
Health care is one of the top three issues of concern for Australian voters, but it has received little attention in this election campaign. Esther Simpson

Absence of health issues on election agenda bodes ill for much-needed reform

So far in this election campaign, the Coalition has provided dollar promises for worthy projects but no new health policy initiatives. The government has mentioned one policy of note – to remove family…
The current fee-for-service model makes it difficult to contain costs and boost the quality of care. Image from shutterstock.com

Phase out GP consultation fees for a better Medicare

In the fourth part of our series Health Rationing, Peter Sivey explains why it might be time to abandon Medicare’s fee-for-service model. Teachers aren’t paid a fee for each lesson they teach, nor are…
How far are you from the treatment you need? Having a heart attack puts the patient in a race against time. Flickr/alexkess

Heart attack by postcode: how fast and close is due treatment?

Australians considering where to have a heart attack can now do a postcode check on the speed and quality of medical treatment…
Medicare Locals have a big task, with a modest budget. AAP/Dave Hunt

Have Medicare Locals been set up to fail?

Opposition Health spokesman Peter Dutton has called Medicare Locals “an extra layer of bureaucracy”, and signalled the Coalition will remove them if it’s elected. His conclusion that they’re a waste of…

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