Medicare

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Although the Coalition is largely associated with this issue, Labor first introduced the Medicare rebate freeze in 2013 as a ‘temporary’ measure. AAP/Joel Carrett

Confused about the Medicare rebate freeze? Here’s what you need to know

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?
The government’s proposed changes are good, and evidence based, but whether they will work in practice is another thing. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Time for better chronic disease management in primary care

Living with a chronic disease is hard work. Today the federal government announced its intention to “revolutionise" the way chronic diseases and complex conditions are cared for.
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.
More than three in every four Medicare-billed pathology tests are analysed by one of two big corporations: Sonic Healthcare and Primary Health Care. Soda_O2/Shutterstock

Blood money: pathology cuts can reduce spending without compromising health

Industry consolidation and technological advances have completely reshaped the pathology industry over recent decades. But the way governments pay for pathology services hasn’t kept up.
A significant proportion of the growth in Medicare costs has been driven by government policies such as items for new services and larger rebates. Rido/Shutterstock

Government policy, not consumer behaviour, is driving rising Medicare costs

The Coalition tried to justify its failed GP co-payment as an attempt to rein in consumers, who were driving the increase in Medicare costs. Turns out government policy was mostly to blame.
The government is effectively undermining the power of Medicare as a single payer and the role of Medicare as a universal provider. Peter Boyle/AAP

The debate we’re yet to have about private health insurance

In the final instalment of our series, Lesley Russell asks whether Australians need private health insurance, and what a two-tiered systems means for quality, access and equity.

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