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.
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.
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.
Republican presidential candidate John Kasich likes to tout his record as governor of Ohio. Is it a case of oversell?
It will take more than shifting Medicare payments from one monolith to another to deliver true innovation.
We start 2016 with big challenges for the health system and uncertainty as to how governments will meet them.
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.
Anyone who has purchased private health insurance or thought about changing policies knows the system is complex and confusing.
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.
Any health reform proposals should start by addressing public hospitals and chronic care. But successful change in these areas requires getting the state-Commonwealth funding and incentives right.
Cutting Medicare rebates for GPs affects us all, whereas in-hospital private patient rebates, which only benefit the better-off, are ripe for the razor gang.
After an extensive round of consultations with health professionals and patients, Health Minister Sussan Ley has announced that yet more work needs to be done to find solutions to Medicare's problems.
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.
Any new such financing system would need to carefully balance competition and choice, with affordability of coverage and equal access to quality care.
Private insurance, by its very nature, suppresses price signals and encourages over-servicing and cost escalation.
Some people balk at the cost of private insurance – especially the relatively young and healthy – because they don't see the value of it when they are already covered under Medicare.
How much do Australians pay for private health insurance?
All Australian residents have access to Medicare, so why do half the population also decide to take out private health insurance?
With GPs facing greater economic pressure and the health minister considering legislative change to make it easier for GP to charge them, GP co-payments, like Lazarus, may rise again from the dead.
As well as being responsible for a large share of total costs, people who visit the GP more often are more likely to live in the most disadvantaged areas, and to report being in poor health.