Health is the most important election issue for Australians aged over 50.
Health is always a key factor in deciding which way to vote. So what have the major parties promised in health? And what could these changes mean for consumers?
Bill Shorten visiting Townsville Hospital on Sunday.
Labor has pledged to spend $2 billion more than the Coalition on hospitals over four years and brought Bob Hawke into the election campaign.
Although the Coalition is largely associated with this issue, Labor first introduced the Medicare rebate freeze in 2013 as a ‘temporary’ measure.
Labor will lift the rebate freeze from 2017, while under the Coalition, GPs will be paid the same amount for delivering health services in 2020 as they were in 2014. So what does this mean for patients?
We need to think about the environment that allowed the error to occur.
In Australia, estimates suggest undesired harmful effects from medication or other intervention such as surgery occur in around 17% of hospital admissions. But blaming the doctors won't help.
Who needs to be in the ICU?
ICU image via www.shutterstock.com.
Limiting ICU beds is suggested as a way to cut down on overuse, but that assumes doctors always know which patients need to be there.
The solution is not necessarily more of the same, or more funding.
In a time of growing populations, hospitals must guarantee access, ensure quality, minimise the chances of anything going wrong, and do it all within the available budget. So they need to change.
What are the most common reasons for going to hospital? What can go wrong? What's behind the state-Commonwealth funding fight? Our at-a-glance infographic has the answers.
One element of emergency departments (EDs) which can cause frustration is the triage assessment.
Presidencia de la República Mexicana/Flickr
Whether it's an emergency or a planned admission, going to hospital can be anxiety inducing – not knowing where you're heading or who will be looking after you. Here's a cheat sheet to guide you.
More people are going to A&E.
Hospitals in England anticipate a £2.3 billion deficit by the end of the financial year. That won't leave much in the kitty for the proposed NHS upgrade.
The scene for change has been set. But will the health minister act?
We start 2016 with big challenges for the health system and uncertainty as to how governments will meet them.
State health departments should continuously monitor the hospital activity data it collects for red flags.
Seven babies died unnecessarily at Bacchus Marsh hospital between 2013 and 2014. The My Hospitals website and other reporting mechanisms gave no sign of any problems.
Pressure point. Smarter GP surgeries can lighten the burden on the rest of the NHS.
World Bank Photo Collection
Britain's local healthcare system of small time gatekeepers should become stronger networks of powerful providers.
Almost two-thirds of over-65s have three or more diagnosed chronic conditions.
Mostovyi Sergii Igorevich/Shutterstock
Over-65s use twice as many health resources as the average Australian. But it's worth the expense.
The UK's palliative care is excellent - but that hasn't prevented scandals like the Liverpool Care Pathway and Mid-staffs.
Solar energy is key to development in African countires.
Integrated research is key to sustainable development, which helps Africa resolve its energy woes.
When did you wash that?
Doctor in white coat via www.shutterstock.com.
There is no harm in avoiding white coats, but there could be danger in wearing one.
A new approach should include social supports, such as living skills and assistance obtaining housing and employment.
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.
Ordinary superhero – but under pressure of burnout.
Surgery by Shutterstock
NHS moves to help staff become healthier but GPs are under pressure.
Bit of bourgeois David?
A Conservative white paper in 1944 suggested ideas for 'free' and 'comprehensive healthcare – but it was Labour that took the advantage.
Ineffective care exposes patients to complications and side-effects and waste precious health care resources.
To avoid ineffective treatments, we need a new way to identify and reduce questionable care. A new Grattan Institute report shows how to do it.