Health policy

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The health sector can learn from other industries that turn to operations research to fix everyday challenges. Anna Jurkovska/Shutterstock

Hospitals don’t need increased funding, they need to make better use of what they’ve got

Fixing the hospital system is not just a matter of more funding. Hospitals need to work smarter, not harder.
The most common reason for choosing private hospitals is shorter waits for elective surgery. Richard Lyons/Shutterstock

What are better, public or private hospitals?

Around a quarter of people with private health insurance still choose to use the public system. Why?
The Commonwealth is telling the states to fix their own hospital budget problems, as though state governments can simply find savings from other areas. MARCELODLT/Shutterstock

Here’s how to boost hospital funds and end the blame game

Health-care costs are rising, driven by expensive developments in treatments, more demanding populations and rising national wealth. We need to change the financing system to meet this challenge.
Patients often rely on their GP to make the choice of specialist for them through the referral process with little or no discussion of prices. gtfour/Shutterstock

How much?! Seeing private specialists often costs more than you bargained for

Why is it so difficult to find out exactly how much it's going to cost to have that suspicious mole removed or to be admitted to hospital for that colonoscopy or hip replacement?
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?
The government has acknowledged that just sending people off for a set number of psychology sessions is an inadequate response, particularly for people with more complex conditions. LoloStock/Shutterstock

Mental health changes should be judged on outcomes, not promises

The reforms announced today have the potential to change this appalling situation. But ultimately they should be judged on the outcomes they achieve for patients.

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