General practice in Australia needs reform.
Extra funding to GPs from lifting the Medicare Rebate freeze should be used to buy better data, so that future reform can be based on sound evidence.
There is evidence many conditions can be treated without drugs or surgery.
In many cases, the most appropriate treatment for a health condition isn't a drug. It could be a recommendation for a dietary change, a specific exercise, or even a phone app.
GPs tend to ignore advice from guidelines not relevant to general practice.
Many guidelines offered to GPs are based on evidence unrelated to general practice. Studies show doctors tend to ignore these guidelines which can pose a risk to patients' health.
Was the Liberal Party right about Medicare funding?
Has the Coalition invested an average of $5 billion per year more than Labor into Medicare?
The Labor Party is heading into the election with its Medicare banner hoisted high.
The greater threats to our national public health system lie in the increasing role of consumer co-payments and the power of vested interests that stifle policy innovation in health.
The cost for after-hour services has increased by 98% in the last ten years.
Recent reports have signalled another potential Medicare cost blowout due to the billing practices of GPs providing care after hours. Is it true and is there a problem with these services?
New data shows many Australians aren’t seeing their doctors because it costs too much.
In some parts of Australia, patients are twice to three times more likely to avoid seeing their GP because they can't afford it, according to figures released today.
Off-label use is when an approved medicine is prescribed for a different reason, at a different dose, or in different patient groups than originally intended.
The off-label use of medicines is not illegal and it doesn't mean regulators have specifically "disapproved" its use. But there are a number of issues to consider before using a medicine off-label.
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.
The major impediment to realising the ideal of good general practice is that few patients understand it.
Australia spent $16 billion on GP-related health care in 2012-13. Given that our public health system means each of us is paying for health care through our taxes, what should we expect from doctors?
Public hospital funding is in a critical condition.
Any health reform proposals should start by addressing public hospitals and chronic care. But successful change in these areas requires getting the state-Commonwealth funding and incentives right.
Acute non-specific low back pain is a very common problem that usually gets better without any treatment.
David Rabbit Wallace/Flickr
Not so long ago, getting an x-ray for acute back pain was the norm. And they are still used far more frequently than is necessary.
New modelling shows the Medicare rebate freeze will leave GPs A$8.43 worse off per consultation.
With GPs facing greater economic pressure and the health minister considering legislative change to make it easier for GP to charge them, GP co-payments, like Lazarus, may rise again from the dead.
Very high GP attenders cost Medicare an average of A$3,202 in 2012-13, compared to an Australian average of A$690.
As well as being responsible for a large share of total costs, people who visit the GP more often are more likely to live in the most disadvantaged areas, and to report being in poor health.
The Coalition government’s proposed changes to Medicare have never managed to garner public favour.
The government has backed down from its plan to cut Medicare rebates to doctors, which was to start on Monday, January 19, after several days of public pressure. For those not au fait with the world of…
The big losers will be ordinary patients.
Image Point Fr/Shutterstock
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…
If you don’t have a concession card and are usually bulk billed, you may face a A$5 co-payment, or more.
Image Point Fr/Shutterstock
The Abbott government has scrapped its controversial A$7 co-payment plan and replaced it with a A$5 cut to GP rebates for patients over 16 without a concession card, and other rebate changes. The revised…
If we want to ensure the health system remains sustainable, it makes sense to use its cheapest and most efficient arm: general practice.
Last year taxpayers spent A$6.3 billion on GP services through Medicare, about 6% of the total government health expenditure. This was a 50% increase (A$2.1 billion) in today’s dollars over the past decade…
Drug reps form a huge part of the industry’s marketing strategy.
Here’s what I remember. It was 14 years ago, and I was a junior doctor working in psychiatry. Some colleagues planned a dinner as an end-of-term celebration and, despite reasonable incomes, they decided…
Specialists in Australia earn almost twice as much as GPs.
The opening of [eight new medical schools](](http://www.medicaldeans.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Website-Stats-2013-Table-4.pdf) in Australia in the past decade has seen a massive increase in the number…