Instead of asking how to fix the rural GP shortage, we should look at the bigger picture and ask how nurse practitioners could work to their full capacity.
Some of the original advocates for Medicare in the 1960s hoped to eventually extend it to everyone.
Bernie Sanders’ single-payer health care plan is bound to be expensive and politically impossible. A simple expansion of Medicare offers a cheaper and more passable path to universal care.
Suicide is uncommon during pregnancy – it occurs more frequently when a pregnancy is over.
Mikel Garcia Idiakez/flickr
The clinical committee reviewing obstetrics services for the federal government’s Medicare review said suicide is one of the leading causes of maternal death in Australia. Is that true?
The amount doctors are paid for each consultation has traditionally increased year to year to account for the increased cost of care.
By 2020, the average GP will have lost A$109,000 in income due to the rebate freeze. To make up for this lost income, GPs will need to charge an A$11.40 co-payment per consultation.
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 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.
GP attendances make up just one-third of Medicare expenditure.
Ezz Mika Elya/Shutterstock
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.
The government is effectively undermining the power of Medicare as a single payer and the role of Medicare as a universal provider.
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.
Medicare and private health insurance partly overlap for hospital entitlements. But nobody can purchase full coverage for health-care costs.
Any new such financing system would need to carefully balance competition and choice, with affordability of coverage and equal access to quality care.
Private health insurance is an expensive way to fund health care.
Image Point Fr/Flickr
Private insurance, by its very nature, suppresses price signals and encourages over-servicing and cost escalation.
The relationship between private health insurance and Medicare has been a problem since the Whitlam government introduced universal health care.
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?
The increase in benefits paid out by health funds far exceeds the approved increase in premiums.
The half of Australians who have private health insurance will be face higher bills from Wednesday, as insurance premiums increase by an industry average of 6.18%.
Dental care is the most-used private health insurance ancillary service.
All Australian residents have access to Medicare, so why do half the population also decide to take out private health insurance?
New modelling shows the Medicare rebate freeze will leave GPs A$8.43 worse off per consultation.
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.
Very high GP attenders cost Medicare an average of A$3,202 in 2012-13, compared to an Australian average of A$690.
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.
How has Medicare spending changed in the last decade?
AAP Image/Joel Carrett
Health Minister Sussan Ley is broadly correct on the numbers – but they are framed in a way that overstates the impression of rising health care expenditure.
The 2015 Intergenerational Report gives only half the picture of health care spending.
The Commonwealth appears to have its health outlays more or less under control. The problem for the states, however, is dire.
Discussions about Medicare’s sustainability under the Abbott government have only concerned how much we spend on the health sector.
The Abbott government “reset” yesterday provides a valuable opportunity to reconsider health policies based on the idea that Australia’s health system is unsustainable. But first it will need to embrace…
Non-concession patients may end up paying a A$30 to A$40 co-payment, not a A$5 one.
The Christmas-New Year silly season gave Australia three health policies. At the start of December, the policy from the 2014 budget was still on life support. But in mid-December, then-health minister…