The Strengthening Medicare Taskforce report is light on detail but lays out clear directions and includes big reforms. However, change won’t be easy.
It would be a wasted opportunity if our political leaders came back again in six months without a long-term plan about how to fund and improve the system.
Ramsay Health Care/AAP
While states are responsible for running hospitals, the federal government shares responsibility for paying for them. But it’s an uneasy relationship.
Labor has committed to increase bulk billing for a number of Medicare items for cancer care.
Health has taken centre stage of the election campaign. Here’s what you need to know to make sense of the claims (and counter claims) of the major parties so far.
The funding proposal is no fix for Australia’s health system but it could take some political pressure off the Coalition in the lead up to the 2019 federal election.
The A$1.25 billion health funding boost isn’t based on any coherent policy direction. It’s designed to shore up support in marginal electorates.
If you get an infection in hospital, they’ll receive less funding for your care under a new plan.
Presidencia de la República Mexicana/Flickr
Withdrawing funding for hospital errors might reduce costs, but won’t remove the causes of errors.
Hospitals might be penalised for every admission that could have been avoided, under a proposal floated by Greg Hunt.
A plan to fine hospitals for avoidable hospitalisations and pay GPs to prevent them has many issues. The main problem is that it’s impossible to measure the outcomes of health care in Australia.
A byproduct of Australia’s fractured federalism is that both the Commonwealth and state governments fund public hospitals.
Leaked documents of a secret ‘taskforce’ to reform public hospital funding reveal some controversial proposals. So how are hospitals funded and why might this need changing?
The Medicare Guarantee Fund appears to be no more than an accounting trick.
The fund is nothing more than a rebadging exercise in the hope people might think it is a new policy. And it’s being used to airbrush public hospitals out of the Medicare picture.
Penalising unfortunate events such as these is unlikely to improve the overall safety of the hospital.
There is little if any evidence that the frequency of sentinel events reflects the overall quality of care provided by a hospital.
If a funding promise is later “unpromised”, does that constitute a cut?
AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Among Labor’s most popular refrains is the claim that the government has cut $80 billion from schools and hospitals. Is it true?
What does the budget hold for health care?
This is a steady-as-she goes budget, mostly just confirming pre-announcements with only the expected unpleasant decisions, such as the continuation of the Medicare rebate freeze.
The new funding meets some of the shortfall left by the 2014 budget cuts.
States will receive an additional A$2.9 billion from July 2017 to June 2020, with growth in Commonwealth funding capped at 6.5%. The Conversation’s experts respond.
Hospital funding has long been the subject of acrimonious and unedifying funding disputes between the federal and state governments.
The Commonwealth wants to partially reverse the cuts it made to public hospital funding in the 2014 budget. But the deal has some unwelcome strings attached.
AMA President Brian Owler says hospitals will have insufficient funding to meet the increasing demand for services.
The Australian Medical Association’s annual Public Hospital Report Card says hospitals are facing “a growing funding crisis” – with their performance virtually stagnant.
The issue came to a head last year when the federal budget ripped billions of dollars of hospital funding from the states.
State and territory leaders will meet in Sydney today to nut out solutions to health and education funding gaps. But what exactly is the problem they’re hoping to address?
Public hospital funding is in a critical condition.
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.
Except if it’s a private financing initiative.
Britain’s biggest hospital trust also has the largest financial black hole in the NHS. How did it get there?
For patients, the availability of beds is more important than the overall number.
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…
The federal budget has shifted costs rather than controlling them.
It was only seven years ago, but it seems like a lifetime; then-opposition leader Kevin Rudd was promising to end the “blame game” in health-care funding. Fast forward a few years, he’d received a report…