Sections

Services

Information

UK United Kingdom

General practice

Analysis and Comment (19)

The poorest households already spend more than a fifth of their disposable income on health care. 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…
The average Australian adult gains 0.416 kg a year, so staying weight-neutral is a major accomplishment. The average Australian adult gains 0.416 kg a year, so staying weight-neutral is a major accomplishment. TaraPatta/Shutterstock

Weighty matters: why GPs shouldn’t be afraid of the scales

If you’re an adult and live in Australia, you’re more likely to be overweight or obese than not: 63% and 37% respectively. This excess weight is associated with increased premature death and disease, and…
Medicare Locals plan for better, tailored health services by drawing on local knowledge. Medicare Locals plan for better, tailored health services by drawing on local knowledge. Image from shutterstock.com

Let Medicare Locals find their feet and improve primary care

Primary health care in Australia is a messy beast, with many heads and all sorts of body parts. But it’s centrally important because it plays a major role in achieving public health outcomes, such as better…
An identical patient with an identical presenting symptom of ‘tension headache’ might lead to a thousand different discussions. 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. 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…
If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that this is not a fixable problem. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that this is not a fixable problem. Image from shutterstock.com

Unfixable: time to ditch personally controlled e-health record scheme

Federal health minister Peter Dutton has commissioned a review of Labor’s troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) project. It’s unclear whether the review committee is to decide…
It’s your absolute right to seek advice and to be in charge of what happens to your body. It’s your absolute right to seek advice and to be in charge of what happens to your body. Image from shutterstock.com

A guide to a second medical opinion

How many dealers did you visit before you last bought a car? Were you happy with the first quote you got for a painting job or kitchen renovation? When it comes to your finances, your house and your belongings…
The current fee-for-service model makes it difficult to contain costs and boost the quality of care. 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…
Young people should be left alone with their doctor for at least part of each consultation. Young people should be left alone with their doctor for at least part of each consultation. Image from shutterstock.com

Sex, drugs and illness: why teens need medical confidentiality

What qualities do you most want your doctor to have? Good medical knowledge? Honesty? Good listening skills? Empathy? You probably want your doctor to have all of these traits – and teenagers are no different…
Nurses are providing many primary care services traditionally performed by doctors. Nurses are providing many primary care services traditionally performed by doctors. Image from shutterstock.com

The nurse will see you now – sharing patient care in general practice

With Australia’s population growing, living longer, and experiencing more disease and disability, there’s no doubt demand for health services will increase. But how are we going to pay for it? With this…
The recent rise in the number of GPs could be welcomed as addressing the shortage. The recent rise in the number of GPs could be welcomed as addressing the shortage. Image from shutterstock.com

Is the national doctor shortage a myth?

Monash University demographer Bob Birrell is quoted in today’s Australian newspaper as saying the national doctor shortage is “a myth”. He points out a large recent increase in the number of GPs, a rise…
Revalidation is a mechanism by which doctors can confirm that they are up to date in their particular field and fit to practice. Revalidation is a mechanism by which doctors can confirm that they are up to date in their particular field and fit to practice. www.shutterstock.com

What revalidation checks for doctors should look like

The chair of the Medical Board of Australia, Joanna Flynn, has announced that the board will consult with the profession before proposing a new revalidation scheme. Revalidation is a mechanism by which…
Doctors shouldn’t be forced into policing the choices of their patients. Doctors shouldn’t be forced into policing the choices of their patients. Image from shutterstock.com

Don’t blame doctors for patients' failure to lose weight

The New South Wales Supreme Court recently awarded a morbidly obese man $364,372 in damages for developing terminal liver cancer as a consequence of his doctor’s failure to refer him for bariatric (gastric…
Some GPs are reluctant to broach the issue of weight for fear of offending their patients; others aren’t convinced by the evidence. Some GPs are reluctant to broach the issue of weight for fear of offending their patients; others aren’t convinced by the evidence. Image from shutterstock.com

Are GPs doing enough to help patients lose weight?

Almost two-thirds (62%) of Australian adults and one fifth (21%) of children aged five to nine years are either overweight or obese. The prevalence has increased by 5% in the last decade and is strongly…
Unless you’re up to date with the healthy food guidelines, don’t preach to fat people about what they should eat. Unless you’re up to date with the healthy food guidelines, don’t preach to fat people about what they should eat. Stocky Bodies (Isaac Brown)

Doctor, don’t make assumptions about your fat patients

A couple of weeks back I awoke with a swollen and painful knee. I’ve had problem knees since high school and figured that this was just another chapter in the saga. Some days later I was fed up – my knee…
GPs have a greater role to play in screening and treating problem gambling. GPs have a greater role to play in screening and treating problem gambling. AAP

Gambling reform involves more than just popping a pill

The Greens yesterday released the party’s problem gambling discussion paper. The paper advocates, among other things, for general practitioners to play a greater role in screening and treating problem…
An equal relationship between doctors and nurses working in general practice will mean comprehensive primary health care for patients. An equal relationship between doctors and nurses working in general practice will mean comprehensive primary health care for patients. nursing pins/Flickr

Equal but not the same: why we need to rethink how doctors and nurses work

Doctors and nurses appear to work harmoniously together but this apparently serene state of affairs is actually hiding inequality. Instead of giving nurses the room to shine in their workplace, the traditional…
Teens have a right to confidential and private health care. Teens have a right to confidential and private health care. Ed Yourdon

You want to see your teen’s medical records, but should you have the right?

If your teenage daughter was sexually active and wanted to go on the pill, you’d want to know, right? Well, think back to when you were her age – would you have told your parents? These questions were…
Home help is much more effective than written instructions from a doctor. Home help is much more effective than written instructions from a doctor.

Why home help is the best bang for our health buck

The new Victorian Health Plan 2012-22 offers a bleak prognosis: forever rising medical costs, doctors in the wrong places, hospitals overwhelmed. To make matters worse, it claims that patients can’t be…

Research Briefs (1)