Some regions have had rates of preventable hospital admissions 50% above the state average for more than a decade.
Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley/Shutterstock
People ending up in hospital for diabetes, tooth decay, or other conditions that should be treatable or manageable out of hospital is a warning sign of system failure.
This approach will help concentrate efforts on evidence and value rather than ideologically based, slash-and-burn approaches.
AAP Image/Fairfax Media Pool/Andrew Meares
The government must do more to deliver a 21st-century health system – not just to improve its standing with voters but to meet the health needs of all Australians.
The debate about ageing needs to move away from claiming the sky will fall in because of the ageing of the population.
The ageing population is only a relatively small contributor to the growth in hospital admissions.
There is a strong political and economic case for the government to cut its support for private insurance and to restore Medicare to its original role.
The Turnbull government must reconcile the political sensitivity of Medicare and the need for fiscal discipline.
Some Coalition’s policies have been seen as a fundamental assault on Medicare principles of bulk billing and universality.
Scare campaigns only work if there is some anxiety to build on. Labor’s Medicare campaign plugged into a long history of Coalition ambivalence – or open hostility – towards Medicare.
Policy differences will play a central role in deciding the outcome of the 2016 election.
Before Australians go to vote on Saturday, The Conversation’s editors have assembled a guide to 11 key policy areas that could swing the vote.
Was Labor’s shadow health minister Catherine King, pictured here with shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus, right about cuts to bulk-billing payments?
Labor's shadow health minister Catherine King, said that the government has "cut bulk-billing payments for pathology and diagnostic imaging to make patients pay more". Is that right?
Medicare’s IT systems haven’t been carefully planned, they’re the product of an evolution of government policy.
When a system is as complex as that of Medicare’s, it is going to be extremely expensive to rebuild and it is not possible to simply “retrofit” an off-the-shelf product from another company.
New AMA president Michael Gannon is looking to ‘build bridges’ with what he expects will be a returned Turnbull government.
The AMA has campaigned heavily on the Medicare rebate freeze, pointing out its potential impact on patient access if out-of-pocket costs were to increase.
Although the Coalition is largely associated with this issue, Labor first introduced the Medicare rebate freeze in 2013 as a ‘temporary’ measure.
Labor will lift the rebate freeze from 2017, while under the Coalition, GPs will be paid the same amount for delivering health services in 2020 as they were in 2014. So what does this mean for patients?
There have been number of short-lived Commonwealth funding programs for dental care in the past.
AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
PolicyCheck unpacks the detail and history of the Coalition's proposed dental health care policy.
People with chronic illness often report bewilderment with the health system’s complexity.
We need to focus on keeping people out of hospital by providing better co-ordinated and integrated care.
Hospital funding has long been the subject of acrimonious and unedifying funding disputes between the federal and state governments.
The Commonwealth wants to partially reverse the cuts it made to public hospital funding in the 2014 budget. But the deal has some unwelcome strings attached.
The health sector can learn from other industries that turn to operations research to fix everyday challenges.
Fixing the hospital system is not just a matter of more funding. Hospitals need to work smarter, not harder.
Some hospitals have substantially higher costs. Others have higher rates of death.
There is substantial variation in the safety and quality of care provided in Australian hospitals. The data can tell us why.
The most common reason for choosing private hospitals is shorter waits for elective surgery.
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.
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.
Clinicians prioritise patients based on the urgency of their treatment. But there’s more to it than that.
Waiting for emergency care, specialist appointments and "elective" procedures is not only inconvenient and frustrating, it can also be painful and detrimental to your health and well-being.
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.
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?
The solution is not necessarily more of the same, or more funding.
In a time of growing populations, hospitals must guarantee access, ensure quality, minimise the chances of anything going wrong, and do it all within the available budget. So they need to change.