Articles sur Health reform

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The Commonwealth is telling the states to fix their own hospital budget problems, as though state governments can simply find savings from other areas. MARCELODLT/Shutterstock

Here’s how to boost hospital funds and end the blame game

Health-care costs are rising, driven by expensive developments in treatments, more demanding populations and rising national wealth. We need to change the financing system to meet this challenge.
Patients often rely on their GP to make the choice of specialist for them through the referral process with little or no discussion of prices. gtfour/Shutterstock

How much?! Seeing private specialists often costs more than you bargained for

Why is it so difficult to find out exactly how much it's going to cost to have that suspicious mole removed or to be admitted to hospital for that colonoscopy or hip replacement?
A significant proportion of the growth in Medicare costs has been driven by government policies such as items for new services and larger rebates. Rido/Shutterstock

Government policy, not consumer behaviour, is driving rising Medicare costs

The Coalition tried to justify its failed GP co-payment as an attempt to rein in consumers, who were driving the increase in Medicare costs. Turns out government policy was mostly to blame.
The government has acknowledged that just sending people off for a set number of psychology sessions is an inadequate response, particularly for people with more complex conditions. LoloStock/Shutterstock

Mental health changes should be judged on outcomes, not promises

The reforms announced today have the potential to change this appalling situation. But ultimately they should be judged on the outcomes they achieve for patients.
The issue came to a head last year when the federal budget ripped billions of dollars of hospital funding from the states. Shutterstock

Remind me again, what’s the problem with hospital funding?

State and territory leaders will meet in Sydney today to nut out solutions to health and education funding gaps. But what exactly is the problem they're hoping to address?
There’s elephant in the room that government-appointed reviewers need to notice if they’re going to overhaul the Medicare Benefits Schedule. mike woodward/Flickr

Medicare review must deal with ‘elephant in the room’ incentives

The review of Medicare recently announced by the health minister is not only a pachydermal task, it will also fail unless it acknowledges the elephant in the room – our fee-for service health system.
Health minister Sussan Ley announcing the government would maintain the Medicare rebate freeze but ditch the co-payment. LUKAS COCH/AAP

How likely are doctors to charge more due to the rebate freeze?

Doctors groups have warned the Coalition government's plan to maintain the Medicare rebate freeze will means patients will have to pay more for medical services.
We need more transparency around specialist charges so referring GPs and patients can make informed decisions. Theen Moy/Flickr

For real health reform, turn the spotlight on specialists’ fees

The impact of specialist fees on government and patient budgets has received little reform attention. This is despite the government’s push for controls in health-care spending and growing evidence of…
The Coalition government is on the wrong track of reform for delivering better health. Alan English/Flickr

Why the government would have us pay more for poorer health

The Coalition government has been claiming that Australia’s public health system is unsustainable since the 2014 budget. But its plans for the health system actually reflect the underlying belief that…
Australia’s health system is good, but it’s not perfect. Dan Peled/AAP

What can we learn from other countries’ health systems?

Health systems in all wealthier countries face similar problems, but their solutions are widely different. That should mean we can learn from other countries. To explore these differences, this week The…

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