Articles on Health economics

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A snapshot of 2015: health reviews, Health Check series, thalidomide series, Medicare versus private health insurance. AAP; Shutterstock; Julian Smith/; Dave Hunt/AAP

2015, the year that was: Health + Medicine

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?
A significant proportion of the growth in Medicare costs has been driven by government policies such as items for new services and larger rebates. Rido/Shutterstock

Government policy, not consumer behaviour, is driving rising Medicare costs

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.
As the Australian government tightens its belt, consumers end up spending more of their own money on health. Nikki Short/AAP Image/AAP

Patients paying more for health care as government tightens belt

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.
The PBAC must make tough decisions about which cancer drugs to subsidise. Eric Gaillard/Reuters

New cancer drugs are very expensive - here’s how we work out value for our money

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?
Older people are more likely to drop out of the workforce for good when they’re sick than young people. Bacho/Shutterstock

Balancing the health budget: chronic disease investment pays big dividends

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.
The issue came to a head last year when the federal budget ripped billions of dollars of hospital funding from the states. Shutterstock

Remind me again, what’s the problem with hospital funding?

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?
Billions were expected to be saved from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – but surprisingly the budget only outlines $252 million in savings. Lukas Coch/AAP

Federal Budget 2015: health experts react

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.

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