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Grattan Institute aspires to contribute to public policy in Australia as a liberal democracy in a globalised economy. Our work is objective, evidence-driven and non-aligned. We foster informed public debate on the key issues for Australia through both public events and private forums engaging key decision makers and the broader community.

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Physician assistants provide high-quality care and can help fill Australia’s rural doctor shortage. Dr.Farouk/Flickr

Good news for rural health: physician assistants join the workforce

At a ceremony in Townsville today, four people will graduate from James Cook University’s physician assistant program. They will be Australia’s first bachelor’s graduates in that field. This is an important…
The big losers will be ordinary patients. Image Point Fr/Shutterstock

GP co-payment 2.0: a triple whammy for patients

In the May budget, the Commonwealth government proposed a A$7 co-payment for GP services and tests done outside a hospital. After seven months of fierce criticism, the government abandoned those plans…
Australia’s children and grandchildren will not enjoy the fruits of the country’s prosperity as much as their parents. Mate Marschalko/Flickr

Young Australians set to pay for government policy mistakes

Having enjoyed continuously increasing prosperity since the Second World War, Australians have come to expect that each generation will live a better life than the last. But this steady progress may be…
For patients, the availability of beds is more important than the overall number. Emily Orpin/Flickr

Victoria votes: more hospital beds doesn’t equal better health

Scanning through the media coverage of the major parties’ health policies one could be forgiven for thinking that hospital beds are the key to health. Sure, hospital spending dominates the health budget…
Shipping gas overseas can be good for Australia - but bad for Australian gas bills. Ken Hodge

Pain and gain as gas export boom is set to drive up domestic bills

Queensland’s liquid natural gas boom, built on the back of vast reserves of coal seam gas, will bring huge gains to Australia. Exports of gas are set to quadruple by 2018, creating investment, jobs and…
The majority of Australians want to die at home but just 14% are able to do so. Rustle/Shutterstock

A good death: Australians need support to die at home

The baby boomers are growing old and in the next 25 years the number of Australians who die each year will double. People want to die comfortably at home, supported by family and friends and effective…
The government’s energy green paper is seeking reform on electricity prices and gas supply; but avoids climate change. Rae Allen/Flickr

Energy green paper scores ‘pass’ on electricity, ‘fail’ on climate

The Energy Green Paper 2014 released this week by federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane provides more clear direction and coverage of critical policy issues than did its 2012 predecessor. However, while…
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…
Our life expectancy improvements essentially mirrored other comparable countries. Kristo-Gothard Hunor/Shutterstock

Australian health care: where do we stand internationally?

There is an old joke about one fish asking another about the state of the water and the other answering “what’s water?” When you’re immersed in something and that is your daily experience, you are not…
A cloud is hanging over Australia’s renewable energy industry after the government’s review recommended that the Renewable Energy Target be scaled back. Leon Brooks/Wikimedia Commons

Renewable Energy Target review – experts respond

The review of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) has recommended deep cuts to the scheme. If implemented by the government, the changes could mean closing off the scheme to new large-scale wind…
The poorest households already spend more than a fifth of their disposable income on health care. Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

Higher health co-payments will hit the most vulnerable

Many poor families already pay a significant proportion of their household income on health care co-payments and will face increasing financial pressure with a proposed additional A$7 charge, according…
Australia’s green energy target is facing a very uncertain future. lucadp/Shutterstock

Renewables are not the only green energy Australia needs

Just when we thought there could be no more twists in the saga of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target, along comes Clive Palmer. Palmer’s recent climate policy backflip sent the government’s current review…
Life expectancy continues to rise, and years lived with disability decline. Ozgur Coskun/Shutterstock

Australia’s Health 2014 report card: experts respond

Australians have one the longest life expectancies in the world but are living with growing levels of lifestyle-induced chronic illness, according to the latest national health report card. The Australian…
Abandoning health reforms will undoubtedly lead to worse performance, including longer waiting times, across the health system. AAP Image/Quentin Jones

Did the health reform process fail? Now we’ll never know

Yesterday was a sorry day in the long history of health reform in Australia. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Reform Council issued its five year score-keeper’s report on health reform progress…
The combination of social, mobile, cloud and data analytics is offering small firms new potential. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr

Small business is missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution

Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers…
The chances of a single level of government taking charge of Australia’s health system are slim. AAP/Quentin Jones

Federal-state health relations: can anything be salvaged?

The federal budget reignited debate over federal-state relations with a decision to cut $80 billion funding for the state responsibilities of schools and hospitals over the coming years. So how can federal-state…
University fee increases in Australia and the UK haven’t deterred students from poorer backgrounds from attending university in the past. AAP

Fees and higher education: does social class make a difference?

In contemporary Australia, post-school education is necessary for most well-paid jobs. And so who gets access to education is important. University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis echoed many people’s…
The federal budget has shifted costs rather than controlling them. Quentin Jones/AAP

Budget takes hospital funding arrangement back to the future

It was only seven years ago, but it seems like a lifetime; then-opposition leader Kevin Rudd was promising to end the “blame game” in health-care funding. Fast forward a few years, he’d received a report…
Infrastructure Australia does not rate even one of the budget’s newly funded projects as ‘ready to proceed’ or ‘on the threshold’. Dean Lewins/AAP

Changes help the budget but not the economy

Treasurer Joe Hockey’s first budget creates a clear path almost to a surplus. Our children will pay much less for current spending. Real political courage was required to get this far. But the budget also…

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