The Labor Party is heading into the election with its Medicare banner hoisted high.
The greater threats to our national public health system lie in the increasing role of consumer co-payments and the power of vested interests that stifle policy innovation in health.
Labor leader Bill Shorten has been campaigning heavily on health issues.
Labor wants the government to guarantee it won't fully privatise the new Australian Schools Vaccination Register.
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.
Health Minister Sussan Ley has not appeared in an election debate with her shadow counterpart during this campaign.
The posters are going out under Malcolm Turnbull’s signature “I guarantee Medicare stays”. The government is clearly alarmed that Bill Shorten’s Medicare scare campaign could take hold. But what, in the…
Bill Shorten rallied his party for a big effort in the final fortnight of the campaign.
Bill Shorten has pledged Labor would reverse the government's cuts to pathology and give a modest tax break to small businesses to get people back into the workforce.
Pathology in Australia is big business.
ariadna de raadt/Shutterstock
Pathology Australia promptly abandoned its Don't Kill Bulk Bill campaign against cuts to bulk-billing incentives after doing a deal with the federal government.
The cost for after-hour services has increased by 98% in the last ten years.
Recent reports have signalled another potential Medicare cost blowout due to the billing practices of GPs providing care after hours. Is it true and is there a problem with these services?
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.
Who took the points in the first leaders’ debate of the 2016 campaign?
The Conversation’s experts respond to the first Turnbull-Shorten debate with an eye across key policy areas and the leaders’ performances.
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?
The government’s proposed changes are good, and evidence based, but whether they will work in practice is another thing.
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.
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.
Pathology is big business.
Thirteen Of Clubs/Flickr
The pathology sector in Australia is no longer a cottage industry. It is dominated by a handful of billion-dollar enterprises that analyse blood, tissue and other samples.
More than three in every four Medicare-billed pathology tests are analysed by one of two big corporations: Sonic Healthcare and Primary Health Care.
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.
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Mobile technology has changed consumer expectations.
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It will take more than shifting Medicare payments from one monolith to another to deliver true innovation.
The scene for change has been set. But will the health minister act?
We start 2016 with big challenges for the health system and uncertainty as to how governments will meet them.
A significant proportion of the growth in Medicare costs has been driven by government policies such as items for new services and larger rebates.
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.
Consumers are often unclear about the benefits and exclusions.
Anyone who has purchased private health insurance or thought about changing policies knows the system is complex and confusing.
Australia’s century-old federation is under strain.
If Australia’s new prime minister wishes to lead a successful 21st-century government, he must tackle the rise in chronic disease and use data to constantly improve the system.