Category Archives: Health

TIM WOODRUFF. A proposal for health-promoting welfare reform: could it help six million Australians?

On an almost weekly basis now I’m asked as a medical specialist to write a letter to help a patient be accepted by Centrelink as unable to work. My letter and that of the patient’s general practitioner are then assessed … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

FRAN BAUM. Beyond the social determinants: a manifesto for wellbeing

Last week the Australian Health Policy Collaboration launched their Health Tracker by socioeconomic status, which is a report card on the health of adult Australians  in relation to chronic diseases, risk factors and rates of death, by quintiles of disadvantage.

Posted in Health | Leave a comment

JOHN DWYER: When will we seriously tackle the Inequity associated with the delivery of health services to rural and remote Australians? Part 2 of 2.

Health outcomes for Australians living in rural or what are characterised as “remote” areas are far inferior to those of their city cousins. If you don’t live in metropolitan Australia your life expectancy is reduced by about four years. You … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Leave a comment

STEPHEN LEEDER. The double-ended spoon and how to meet our health needs

The Productivity Commission has recognised how joined up care for people with serious and complex illnesses can enhance their quality of life. Opportunities to prevent these problems abound and the time for action is now.

Posted in Health | Leave a comment

JOHN DWYER: When will we seriously tackle the Inequity associated with the delivery of health services to rural and remote Australians? Part 1 of 2.

Health outcomes for Australians living in rural or what are characterised as “remote” areas are far inferior to those of their city cousins. If you don’t live in metropolitan Australia your life expectancy is reduced by about four years. You … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Leave a comment

MICHAEL LAMBERT. The Productivity Commission on Improving Productivity and Health Reform PART 2 OF 2.

In part 1 yesterday, I outlined the five key areas or themes where the Productivity Commission believes that reform is essential and would deliver major benefits to individuals, the community and the economy. These five themes are summarised below.  

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

MICHAEL LAMBERT: The Productivity Commission on Improving Productivity and Health Reform. Part 1 of 2.

The Productivity Commission (hereafter the Commission) has recently released a very substantial and potentially important report, Shifting the Dial, and associated supporting papers. It was produced in response to a reference from the Treasurer for the Commission to investigate the … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Leave a comment

BENJAMIN VENESS. NSW commits to improving health of doctors-in-training

NSW has finally committed to addressing systemic problems with medical training in a bid to improve the mental health of doctors-in-training.  

Posted in Health | Leave a comment

LYN GILBERT. Healthcare-associated infections are important and often avoidable.

Hospital, where you go to get better, can have the opposite effect and high on the list of hazards is infection acquired while there.   Progress has occurred  but more needs to be done.  IT opens up great possibilities for scaling … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

IAN WEBSTER. The social harm of alcohol to communities and society

The social harm of alcohol, alcohol’s ‘harm to others’, is a re-vitalised framework for national and international policies to control the marketing of alcohol.

Posted in Health | Comments Off on IAN WEBSTER. The social harm of alcohol to communities and society

PETER YOUNG: Why Health Professionals in Immigration Detention should stop colluding and speak out

As the situation for hundreds of asylum seekers in the Manus Island continues to deteriorate the harmful consequences of Australia’s punitive immigration detention policies are obvious. Despite the secrecy surrounding immigration detention it is only the wilfully blind who avoid … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Refugees, Immigration | Comments Off on PETER YOUNG: Why Health Professionals in Immigration Detention should stop colluding and speak out

JOHN MENADUE. The growing social divide.

There are ominous signs that Australia is breaking up into different social tribes.  Our claimed egalitarianism and social mobility are under serious challenge.  A mixed society is the best guarantee of social cohesion and social improvement.  That social cohesion arising … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Education, Health, Housing, Politics | 4 Comments

PETER ARNOLD. Ethics and the AMA

Interestingly, the committee appointed by the Victorian government to report on ‘assisted dying’ was headed by the immediate past-president of the AMA, neurosurgeon Brian Owler. Neurosurgeons have a close connection with this problem when patients with severe head injuries have … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

AMBER CARVAN. The health impacts of climate change in rural and remote Australia

Without swift action climate change stands to further cement the health deficit experienced in rural and remote populations. Conversely, taking action to build the climate-resilience of rural and remote communities, and the health care services that support them, could lead … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Health | Comments Off on AMBER CARVAN. The health impacts of climate change in rural and remote Australia

LESLEY RUSSELL . How knee replacement surgery highlights issues of access, affordability and best practice in Australia’s two-tiered healthcare system – Part 2

Part 2 – Best practice and improved surgery outcomes As the population ages, total knee replacement surgery is becoming commonplace.  It is one of the most expensive surgical procedures. Most replacements are performed as elective surgery in private hospitals. Those … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

LESLEY RUSSELL. How knee replacement surgery highlights issues of access, affordability and best practice in Australia’s two-tiered healthcare system – Part 1

 PART 1 – Access and affordability As the population ages, total knee replacement surgery is becoming commonplace.  It is one of the most expensive surgical procedures. Most replacements are performed as elective surgery in private hospitals. Those patients who must … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

STEPHEN DUCKETT. Assisted dying is one thing, but governments must ensure palliative care is available to all who need it

The debate in the Victorian Parliament about assisted dying has tended to focus on the terrible personal experiences of deaths of family members. That focus is understandable, but it has been at the cost of consideration of the need for … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Religion and Faith | Comments Off on STEPHEN DUCKETT. Assisted dying is one thing, but governments must ensure palliative care is available to all who need it

MICHAEL WOODS. Why reforming health care is integral for our economy

Australia’s productivity growth has been stagnant for over a decade and, according to a new report, our health policies and programs could be partly to blame. Released today, the Productivity Commission report also highlights how the health-care sector (among others) … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

LEANNE WELLS. Who benefits from health insurance reforms? Check the sharemarket.

The notable feature of Australia’s heavy investment in health insurance is the lack of hard evidence to support the cost and performance of subsidised private health insurance. For health fund members baffled about the real impact of the Government’s private insurance … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

JOHN DWYER. The folly of looking at private health insurance as a single issue . Part 2 of2

So “Private Health insurance is in the DNA” of the Coalition government we hear from Minister Hunt. That may well be the case but there is no evidence to suggest that the delivery of equitable, quality health care to all … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

PETER ARNOLD. Calling for medical help at night

Obtaining first-line medical attention at night, especially if the patient is house-bound, has become increasingly difficult. Proposals to improve affordable access to such services need to take account of changing urban structures, medical culture and community expectations. 

Posted in Health | Comments Off on PETER ARNOLD. Calling for medical help at night

JOHN DWYER. The folly of looking at private health insurance as a single issue rather than a policy failure .Part 1 of 2

So “private health insurance is in the DNA” of the Coalition government, we hear from Minister Hunt. That may well be the case but there is no evidence to suggest that the delivery of equitable, quality health care to all … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. A Commonwealth Hospital Benefit to replace the $11b private health insurance subsidy.

The wasteful and unfair $ 11b  per annum cost to taxpayers of the subsidy to Private Health Insurance should be abolished and the savings used in two possible ways – part funding a Medicare dental scheme and/or part  funding private … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | Comments Off on JOHN MENADUE. A Commonwealth Hospital Benefit to replace the $11b private health insurance subsidy.

LESLEY RUSSELL: Private Health Insurance: the focus on premiums ignores the cost of using it

Last week’s announcement from the Turnbull Government purported to be about making private health insurance “simpler and more affordable” but in fact delivered more for health insurance funds’ bottom lines than for Australians’ budgets and highlighted the contorted, confused and … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

IAN McAULEY. Yet another futile attempt to support private health insurance

The government’s changes to private health insurance have little, if anything, to do with health policy. Rather they are about staving off the insurers’ death spiral of rising premiums and desertion of profitable customers, and protecting the government from the … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

KATE CHARLESWORTH and PETER SAINSBURY. The Devastating Health Costs of Coal.

Amid all the debate about energy policy – about security, affordability, and carbon emissions –  there is one critical issue that has barely rated a mention: human health. Coal is hazardous to our health; renewables are not. In any discussion … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Health | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The unfairness and waste of private health insurance and the threat to Medicare. Repost from April 21 2017

History is repeating itself. Medicare was created by the Whitlam government because of the abject failure of private health insurance or, as it was then called voluntary health insurance.  As a result of the growth of private health insurance (PHI) … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

MICHAEL GRACEY. Aboriginal health: An embarrassing decades-long saga

It’s been widely known for fifty years that the health of Aboriginal people lags far behind that of other Australians. Despite that and the expenditure of billions of taxpayers’ dollars, serious gaps persist between Indigenous versus non-Indigenous health and wellbeing.

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

RIC DAY. Community Pharmacists – Under-Utilised

Community Pharmacists spend too much time dispensing prescriptions and not enough time promoting the safe and effective use of their customer’s medicines. Reform is needed.

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

PATRICIA EDGAR AND DON EDGAR. Aged care will be a different ballgame -the risks of commercialisation.

There is an obvious conflict of interests in any care industry where profits have to be made and returned to shareholders, rather than ploughed back into better care. Profit is never a good incentive for the common good. It’s easier … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 4 Comments