Unlike health care for the rest of our body, dental care mostly comes out of our own pocket – and it's not cheap. Many Australians go without and their health suffers.
Seeking and making sense of specialist fees is an unfair burden to place on vulnerable patients. A website might be helpful for some – but health professionals need to be held to higher account.
New figures show we are spending less on health than we used to but it mightn't last, and surgeons and dentists are charging more.
Yes, doctors' fees should be transparent, but that requirement alone doesn't go far enough to combat "bill shock". Specialists should also be required to set fees that are "fair and reasonable".
Australia was ranked top of the world in terms of the efficiency of our health care system and health outcomes, but only seventh in terms of equity.
To work out how to reduce the out-of-pocket costs for specialist care, we first need to identify why they are so high.
Health policy was an important factor in the election outcome, but one of the most important issues in the health sector – the impact of out-of-pocket costs – was mostly ignored.