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Articles on GP co-payment

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Key issues in 2014: HIV progress, Ebola, Medicare co-payment and consumer health. Flickr/Brian Talbot; EPA/Ahmed Jallanzo; AAP/David Hunt; www.rowenawaack.com

2014, the year that was: Health + Medicine

2014 was dominated by discussions about better ways of paying for health care. But for all the talk, little progress was made. The year began with former Howard government adviser Terry Barnes’ proposal…
The big losers will be ordinary patients. Image Point Fr/Shutterstock

GP co-payment 2.0: a triple whammy for patients

In the May budget, the Commonwealth government proposed a A$7 co-payment for GP services and tests done outside a hospital. After seven months of fierce criticism, the government abandoned those plans…
The government has changed its proposed $7 GP co-payment to $5 but the flaws underlying the policy remain. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Six things you should know about the co-payment scheme

The Federal government’s attempt to impose a $5 co-payment on GP services by regulation raises the same issues as its previous failed attempt to impose a $7 co-payment through legislation. The consequences…
If you don’t have a concession card and are usually bulk billed, you may face a A$5 co-payment, or more. Image Point Fr/Shutterstock

Medicare co-payment: what the changes mean for you

The Abbott government has scrapped its controversial A$7 co-payment plan and replaced it with a A$5 cut to GP rebates for patients over 16 without a concession card, and other rebate changes. The revised…
Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton announce changes to the government’s GP co- payment policy. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Back to the future with Coalition attacks on Medicare bulk billing

In the government’s latest “scraping away the barnacles” of unpopular and blocked policies, prime minister Tony Abbott and health minister Peter Dutton have announced they’re abandoning the plan to have…
Peter Dutton and Tony Abbott have presented a less controversial Medicare co-payment that should be easier to sell to the public. AAP/Lukas Coch

Co-payment compromise puts extra burden on doctors

The government has stepped back from its A$7 proposed co-payment for visiting the GP but still aims to skin the Medicare cat, putting the onus on doctors to send a $5 price signal to non-concessional patients…
Responses to small price signals may be more emotional than rational, but they’re real. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Real-life decisions: why price signals for Medicare are flawed

Amid last week’s furore over the on-again, off-again Medicare co-payment proposal, Prime Minister Tony Abbott emphasised during Question Time that his government wanted “to see price signals in the system…
If we want to ensure the health system remains sustainable, it makes sense to use its cheapest and most efficient arm: general practice. Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

Medicare spending on general practice is value for money

Last year taxpayers spent A$6.3 billion on GP services through Medicare, about 6% of the total government health expenditure. This was a 50% increase (A$2.1 billion) in today’s dollars over the past decade…
Health expenditure grew by just 1.5% in the last year, compared with a decade average of 5.1%. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Health spending growth at 30-year low

Despite the Commonwealth government warning the nation’s health bill is spiralling out of control, a new report shows Australia’s…
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…
If the Abbott government is clearing the way for a bold reform agenda, the shape of the new direction remains shrouded in mystery. AAP/Dan Peled

Abbott government health policy needs a sharper focus

The Coalition entered the 2013 federal election without a health policy. After a year in government, it remains without one. While there has been activity in the health arena, there’s been little coherent…
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…
The government’s attempt to introduce a $7 compulsory co-payment for visits to the doctor and pathology services has drawn widespread criticism. AAP Image/NEWZULU/PETER BOYLE

GP co-payments: why price signals for health don’t work

Arguments against health co-payments proposed in May’s federal budget will come to the fore again shortly as the Senate considers whether it will pass the necessary legislation. The government’s attempt…

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