Health policy

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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?
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.
Health Minister Sussan Ley wants people to be able to access their medical data using an app. Lukas Coch/AAP Image

App technology can fix the e-health system if done right

Although there are significant challenges to making data within My Health Record useful in the management of a person’s health, the move to make it more open is positive.
A new approach should include social supports, such as living skills and assistance obtaining housing and employment. Ollyy/Shutterstock

From asylums to GP clinics: the missing middle in mental health care

On closing the asylums, Australia failed to invest in an alternative model of community mental health care. So there are few alternatives between the GP surgery and the hospital emergency department.
The ALP’s national conference, held in Melbourne over the weekend, was Bill Shorten’s first as Labor leader. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

ALP national conference: experts respond

The Conversation’s experts respond to the ALP national conference on matters of asylum seekers, health, education, party reform and more.
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?
Gagging clauses in contracts permit purchasers of research to modify, substantially delay, or prohibit the reporting of findings. stallio/Flickr

Governments shouldn’t be able to censor research results they don’t like

Government departments often commission research to help them understand and respond to policy issues. But they impose contract conditions that threaten to undermine the integrity of the work.

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