Articles on Health policy

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In the UK, surgeries are awarded points and additional funding for keeping patients healthy. emanueletudisco photography/Flickr

Creating a better health system: lessons from England

Australia has a relatively strong health system by international standards, but it needs a makeover. To generate fresh ideas, The Conversation is profiling five international health systems that have important…
Australia is just ahead on life expectancy; Singapore is ahead on infant mortality. stockphoto mania/Shutterstock

Creating a better health system: lessons from Singapore

Australia has a relatively strong health system by international standards, but it needs a makeover. To generate fresh ideas, The Conversation is profiling five international health systems that have important…
Most hospitals in Norway and Sweden are government-owned. Ariadna De Raadt/Shutterstock

Creating a better health system: lessons from Norway and Sweden

Australia has a relatively strong health system by international standards, but it needs a makeover. To generate fresh ideas, The Conversation is profiling five international health systems that have important…
Our life expectancy improvements essentially mirrored other comparable countries. Kristo-Gothard Hunor/Shutterstock

Australian health care: where do we stand internationally?

There is an old joke about one fish asking another about the state of the water and the other answering “what’s water?” When you’re immersed in something and that is your daily experience, you are not…
The US is the international outlier on returns on investments in health care. Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock

Creating a better health system: lessons from the United States

Australia has a relatively strong health system by international standards, but it needs a makeover. To generate fresh ideas, The Conversation is profiling five international health systems that have important…
Co-payments encourage GPs to under-service those who can’t afford to pay and over-service those who can. AAP Image/ Lukas Coch

Over- and under-servicing: further reasons to scrap the GP co-payment

Treasurer Joe Hockey is struggling to sell his co-payment policy to the Senate and the Australian public – and it’s easy to see why. Charging patients $7 for GP, pathology and diagnostic services that…
The poorest households already spend more than a fifth of their disposable income on health care. Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

Higher health co-payments will hit the most vulnerable

Many poor families already pay a significant proportion of their household income on health care co-payments and will face increasing financial pressure with a proposed additional A$7 charge, according…
As the queue grows, small increases in waiting times soon turn into dramatic spikes. Fotoluminate LLC/Shutterstock

GP co-payment would increase emergency department wait times

The introduction of a GP co-payment could see average emergency department visits increase by between six minutes and almost three hours, new modelling shows, as more patients opt for free hospital care…
Life expectancy continues to rise, and years lived with disability decline. Ozgur Coskun/Shutterstock

Australia’s Health 2014 report card: experts respond

Australians have one the longest life expectancies in the world but are living with growing levels of lifestyle-induced chronic illness, according to the latest national health report card. The Australian…
Equity isn’t just a nice idea, it’s also how we create a better society. Richard Potts/Flickr

Why the federal budget is bad for health and worse for society

Despite government claims that the budget would be fair and all Australians would contribute to the “budget rescue job”, reality has not supported these claims. And this is bad news for health and social…
The budget has introduced a $7 co-payment for visits to the general practitioners. Dave Hunt/AAP

Federal budget 2014: health experts react

The Abbott government has announced a A$20 billion medical research “future fund”, to help discover what Treasurer Joe Hockey calls the “cures of the future”, paid for with money generated as a result…
We’re unlikely to solve persistent challenges to the health system, such as ensuring equitable access to well-coordinated care, with quick fixes. AAP Image/Quentin Jones

The state of Australia: health

In the lead-up to the budget, the story of crisis has been hammered home, but there’s more to a country than its structural deficit. So how is Australia doing overall? In this special series, ten writers…
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is the tenth largest Commonwealth Government program, now costing over $9 billion a year. Taki Steve/Flickr

PBS savings: two sides of the coin

When it comes to pharmaceuticals expenditure, the National Commission of Audit’s proposals rate highly on any policy change scale. Its two main recommendations are designed to reduce the overall cost to…
For general patients, the minimum co-payment would be A$15. Shutterstock

GP co-payments: a triple fail for the Commission of Audit

The Commission of Audit’s proposals about GP co-payments are just that, proposals. They are not government policy, nor should they be. Some aspects of the Commission’s recommendations are good. But the…
The Commission report recommends private health insurers take on a greater role in Australia’s health system. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Commission of Audit’s health hit list: experts respond

The National Commission of Audit has made 86 recommendations with a focus on the federal government’s 15 biggest and fastest-growing areas of spending. Health is near the top of the list, with the Commission…
Fixing the pricing of combination therapies could save around A$120 million a year. Bart/Flickr

Want PBS savings? Fix the pricing for combined drugs

Last week, Treasurer Joe Hockey made a “case for change” in the way government spends money. His focus was largely on macro policy settings, such as pension entitlements, including access to schemes such…

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