Articles on Health policy

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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…
Innovative health policy solutions could help the health budget and improve patients’ health. Image from shutterstock.com

Paying doctors to keep patients healthy – if the price is right

Consensus and evidence suggests a compulsory co-payment of A$6 for a visit to the general practitioner will reduce population health but might save some money. Can we not try a bit harder and think of…
The financial pain of a A$6 co-payment won’t increase health literacy or self-management. Image from shutterstock.com

Mind the gap: $6 GP visit proposal ignores the evidence

Incremental creep and massive holes in universal health coverage (think dental care) have left many Australians questioning whether there’s any such thing as “free health care”. One recent study estimated…
Governments setting out to control spending, or move it in more efficient directions, must have strong backbones. AAP Image/David Crosling

Securing Australia’s future: health care

SECURING AUSTRALIA’S FUTURE: As the Commission of Audit reviews government activity and spending, The Conversation’s experts take a closer look at key policy areas tied to this funding – what’s working…
Peter Dutton and Tanya Plibersek at the National Press Club where, like the rest of the campaign, the parties seemed to vie to be blander. Penny Bradfield/AAP

Bland is best? Bipartisan health platform left no room for policy

The dictionary has many words that could describe health policy in the 2013 federal election campaign – anodyne, soporific and vapid all come to mind. Australia’s health policy problems cannot afford the…
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott during a visit to St Vincents Hospital in Sydney, on the day the Coalition released its health policy. Alan Porritt/AAP

Coalition health policy is all barbs and no risks

The Coalition’s Policy to Support Australia’s Health System is a cautious document, despite shadow health minister Peter Dutton’s promise of a “cracker of a health policy”. Tony Abbott set the scene at…
This is one of the first elections in decades where health isn’t a headline issue. Image from shutterstock.com

Election 2013 Issues: How we live and die

Welcome to the The Conversation’s Election 2013 State of the Nation essays. These articles by leading experts in their field provide an in-depth look at the key policy challenges affecting Australia as…
Dementia prevalence down but not out. Flickr/Sparkle Glowplug

Dementia stats down but postcode lottery drives uneven care

Dementia has been described as a ticking time bomb, with the number of those affected predicted to double in the next two decades. But a new study suggests that the prevalence of people with dementia in…
Not carpet bombs, but competition.. Pixabay/LoboStudioHamburg

If anything, the NHS should be carpeted with more competition

David Nicholson, the retiring Chief Executive of NHS England, has warned against what he called “carpet bombing” the NHS with competition. For him, and others, less focus on competition is a good thing…
The key question is whether the new prime minister regards the hospital system as having been fixed. AAP Image/David Crosling

Will the buck stop with Rudd on fixing the hospital system?

One of the key platforms of the first Rudd government was to reform the health and hospital system. The key message from then-prime minister Kevin Rudd was that the health, and particularly hospitals…
Passions run high when it comes to the NHS but despite some unprecedented challenges it will do what it always does - survive. PA

Despite the difficulties, the NHS is not dead yet

The NHS in 2013 is facing a series of unprecedented challenges. A rapidly ageing population is just one of a number of factors fuelling a rise in demand for services and hospitals are struggling to cope…
One-third of rural patients wait 24 hours or longer for an urgent GP appointment. Image from shutterstock.com

Country practice: recruiting doctors to work in the bush

If you live far from a city, you are likely to be in poorer health than your urban counterparts; you’re also less likely to use health-care services and if you do, you’ll have to wait longer for care…
Based on current evidence, expanding these services is the right thing to do. Image from shutterstock.com

A rational expansion of breast cancer screening

In the ninth part of our series Health Rationing, Stephen Duckett examines the government’s decision to extend the breast cancer screening program. As one of many pre-budget teasers, Health Minister Plibersek…
Health rationing assessments compare different aspects of health such as pain, anxiety, mobility and social interactions – but what’s more important? Image from shutterstock.com

Comparing apples, pears and hips: health rationing at work

In the seventh part of our series Health Rationing, Richard Norman and Rosalie Viney explain the controversial system governments use to decide what will and won’t be covered under Australia’s universal…
The health budget isn’t limitless: decisions have to be made about to how to allocate funding between competing choices. AAP/Dave Hunt

Health funding under the microscope – but what should we pay for?

In the sixth part of our series Health Rationing, Mark Mackay examines the latest think tank blueprint to rein in Australia’s rising health costs. But he warns that before funding models are adjusted…
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…
We need a more rational debate about how and where we spend our finite health budget. Image from shutterstock.com

Explainer: what is health rationing?

HEALTH RATIONING – a series which examines Australia’s rising health costs and the tough decisions governments must make to rein them it. Any mention of the “R” word in health care immediately brings to…
The biggest and fastest-growing spending category in health is hospitals. Image from shutterstock.com

Tough choices: how to rein in Australia’s rising health bill

With health costs rising and costly medical innovations on the horizon, it’s crunch time for health funding. In the lead up to the May budget, The Conversation’s experts will explore the options for reining…

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