We start 2016 with big challenges for the health system and uncertainty as to how governments will meet them.
This was the year of the health review – mental health care, Medicare, private health insurance, the pharmacy industry ... and the list goes on. But how much movement was there on policy?
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.
Chronic diseases are responsible for nine out of ten deaths in Australia, and for much of the public health expenditure that's causing governments so much concern.
All insurers would have to provide a comprehensive set of health services to its customer, covering all aspects of their health care.
Australians are picking up some of the slack of government belt-tightening by paying more for health, with experts concerned this could reduce the equity in Australia's health system.
It looks like where you live, and what regulations that state has for health insurers, may have a major impact on whether you are diagnosed early or not.
Most of us would agree that cancer drugs should be listed on the PBS, no matter how dear. But our health system can't afford all of them. How then are decisions about which drugs to subsidise made?
Economic modelling shows that policies to reduce chronic diseases can have large economic benefits –A$4.5 billion a year for diabetes alone – by reducing health costs and boosting the workforce.
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.
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?
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.
Data analysed from 32 countries shows women make a huge economic contribution that often goes unrecognised (and unpaid).
The big surprise about this year’s health budget was what wasn’t there – billions of dollars in expected savings from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
If you want to know how well a health system works or not, ask the people who use it.
The NHS black hole that is being sidestepped in the lead up to the election.
UKIP's manifesto makes misleading claims on health tourism.
In the final instalment of our series, Lesley Russell asks whether Australians need private health insurance, and what a two-tiered systems means for quality, access and equity.
Any new such financing system would need to carefully balance competition and choice, with affordability of coverage and equal access to quality care.
Private insurance, by its very nature, suppresses price signals and encourages over-servicing and cost escalation.