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For patients, the availability of beds is more important than the overall number. Emily Orpin/Flickr

Victoria votes: more hospital beds doesn’t equal better health

Scanning through the media coverage of the major parties’ health policies one could be forgiven for thinking that hospital beds are the key to health. Sure, hospital spending dominates the health budget…
Elderly patients increasingly have multiple illnesses and are much more difficult to care for. Julian Rovagnati/Shutterstock

Why hospitals need more generalist doctors and specialist nurses

New medical technologies and treatments over the past few decades have led to remarkable improvements in treating older patients. The annual death rate for an 80-year-old male in 2011 was just 5.6%, compared…
Health Minister Tanya Plibersek (centre) announced the Commonwealth would pay the $107 million directly to hospitals. AAP/Julian Smith

Medi-muddle: hospital funding fight is resolved but the blame game goes on

After months of battle between the Commonwealth and Victorian governments on hospital funding, Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek dramatically intervened last Wednesday by announcing a A$107 million…
There are a number of design flaws in the new hospital funding system. xparxy

Why the new way of funding public hospitals won’t work

The first of July saw the introduction of one of the most important health care reforms for Australia’s public hospitals: national activity-based funding (ABF). Hospitals will now be paid a fixed price…
The deal has a narrower focus than the original but still delivers $20 billion of extra funds.

Health agreement diagnosis: ‘watered down but not a total cave in’

Health professionals and patients alike breathed a sigh of relief yesterday when Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced she had struck a final deal with the states to reform the nation’s hospital system…

ICU physicians defy utilitarianism

Intensive Care Unit clinicians often allocate scarce resources towards gravely-ill existing patients rather than freeing…

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