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Articles on Medicare locals

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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.
The AMA described the proposed reimbursement changes for level B consultations as “an assault on general practice”. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

The AMA and Medicare: a love-hate relationship

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has emerged from the recent brouhaha over the Abbott government’s proposed Medicare reforms as both a winner in the protection of doctors’ incomes and an apparent…
In the UK, surgeries are awarded points and additional funding for keeping patients healthy. emanueletudisco photography/Flickr

Creating a better health system: lessons from England

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…
A lack of local professionals means rural health is already under pressure and the budget will only make things worse. Len Matthews/Flickr

Already fragile, rural health set to suffer more under the budget

People living in remote and rural Australia already have a shorter life expectancies and higher rates of premature deaths. Last week’s federal budget will not only make that worse, it will introduce even…
Medicare Locals plan for better, tailored health services by drawing on local knowledge. Image from

Let Medicare Locals find their feet and improve primary care

Primary health care in Australia is a messy beast, with many heads and all sorts of body parts. But it’s centrally important because it plays a major role in achieving public health outcomes, such as better…
Peter Dutton and Tanya Plibersek at the National Press Club where, like the rest of the campaign, the parties seemed to vie to be blander. Penny Bradfield/AAP

Bland is best? Bipartisan health platform left no room for policy

The dictionary has many words that could describe health policy in the 2013 federal election campaign – anodyne, soporific and vapid all come to mind. Australia’s health policy problems cannot afford the…
Health care is one of the top three issues of concern for Australian voters, but it has received little attention in this election campaign. Esther Simpson

Absence of health issues on election agenda bodes ill for much-needed reform

So far in this election campaign, the Coalition has provided dollar promises for worthy projects but no new health policy initiatives. The government has mentioned one policy of note – to remove family…
Medicare locals aim to reduce visits to emergency departments by coordinating after-hours care. image from

Give Medicare Locals a chance to improve health equity

While independent, government-funded Medicare Locals are still in their embryonic form, opposition health spokesperson Peter Dutton has hinted that, if elected, a Coalition government would scrap the bureaucracies…
Until the Opposition releases its health policy, it’s impossible to know what will happen to the health reform agenda. Alejandro Polanco

Election places national health reform at a crossroads

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced the federal election will be held in mid-September. So, what will happen to the ambitious program of health reform that the Labor government is in the process…
Medicare Locals have a big task, with a modest budget. AAP/Dave Hunt

Have Medicare Locals been set up to fail?

Opposition Health spokesman Peter Dutton has called Medicare Locals “an extra layer of bureaucracy”, and signalled the Coalition will remove them if it’s elected. His conclusion that they’re a waste of…

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