Category Archives: Health

JOHN DWYER. Health care reform – Part 2.

Without acceptance of a ten year plan and the creation of an instrument to implement that plan we will not be able to engineer the evidence based structural reforms to our health care system that will improve quality, equity and … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Coalition legacies.

There are six major issues that dominate public life today and require resolution. Those issues are –the dire consequences following the Iraq invasion, tax cuts during the mining boom that result in continuing budget deficits and debt increases, the threat … Continue reading

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JENNIFER DOGGETT and LOUISA GORDON Out-of-pocket costs for healthcare are a problem for all Australians

Editor: Jennifer DoggettAuthor: Louisa Gordon (introduction by Jennifer Doggett)on: June 13, 2018In: Co-payments, health financing and costs, Healthcare and health reform Out-of-pocket health costs (OOPs) are a major challenge facing the Australian health system.  Australians pay for a higher proportion … Continue reading

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JOHN DWYER. Health care reform – Part 1.

Without acceptance of a ten year plan and the creation of an instrument to implement that plan, we will not be able to engineer the evidence-based structural reforms to our health care system that will improve quality, equity and cost … Continue reading

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JOHN DWYER. “Health Care Homes”, set up to fail and doing so spectacularly.

Touted by Minister Hunt as the biggest health care reform initiative since the introduction of Medicare, the “Health Care Home” model for the better management of patients with two or more chronic diseases is floundering, beset with predictable organisational and … Continue reading

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RUTH ARMSTRONG. Four Corners- Mind The Gap episode: a one dimensional look at a multifaceted problem.

A single tweet put Monday night’s Four Corners episode into perspective for me. I’d been trying to put my finger on what seemed out of kilter with the whole segment and there it was: the program had virtually ignored the bedrock … Continue reading

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JENNIFER DOGGETT. Health Budget Gaps.

Prevention, out-of-pocket costs, and oral health. 

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MICHAEL PASCOE. Profit-rich private health insurers burning billions on non-health costs

Australian capitalism’s sheltered workshop, the private health insurance industry, is burning billions of dollars a year unrelated to Australians’ health.

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TIM WOODRUFF. A budget for inequality, worsening health outcomes and decreased productivity.

As a financially comfortable part-time medical specialist, I will be in the group receiving the highest tax cut immediately, whilst my daughters working full time at much lower income will receive about one third of that. It’s of even more … Continue reading

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JOHN DWYER. Profit trumping professionalism! All too often the case in Australian Pharmacies.

On the third of May, Health Minister Greg Hunt spoke at a conference organised by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. This is the pharmacy owners association (all pharmacists) which in 2011, notoriously, entered into a deal with the vitamin and … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Are pharmacists professionals or shop keepers?

Pharmacists are the most under-utilised health professionals in the country. The Australian Pharmacy Guild is happy to keep  it that way.  

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MICHAEL THORN. Corporate power unchecked: Time to redress a dangerous imbalance

Are corporate interests too powerful? Are vested interests beyond democratic control? Are our political institutions even concerned to do so?

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PHILLIP BAKER, MARK LAWRENCE. Sweet power: the politics of sugar, sugary drinks and poor nutrition in Australia.

Unhealthy diets and poor nutrition are leading contributors to Australia’s burden of disease and burgeoning health-care costs. In 1980, just 10% of Australian adults were obese, today that figure is 28% – among the highest in the world. And yet, … Continue reading

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JAMES FERNYHOUGH. Revealed: Australia’s richest professionals and the suburbs they live in.

If you’re a surgeon living in one of the opulent suburbs on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, then congratulations: you are a member of the highest paid group in Australia. This will come as no surprise for people who … Continue reading

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CHARLES LIVINGSTONE. Crown Casino -Too big to regulate?

Last week, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation imposed a record fine, of $300,000, on Crown Casino. The fine, and a letter of censure, were imposed following revelations that Crown employees had ‘tampered’ with electronic gambling machines (EGMs, … Continue reading

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ALEX WODAK. Why is the drug policy debate in Australia stuck?

Drug policy in Australia has been debated for decades but doesn’t seem to be getting close to resolution. However some progress is being made. Examples include the Victorian government’s decision in 2017 to establish a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Melbourne … Continue reading

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STEPHEN LEEDER. Home (not so) sweet home

Medical homes, where you as a patient are known personally by name and history and where a team of health professionals, generally led by a general practitioner, arrange and provide your care, have not taken off as expected. Why? 

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PETER MARTIN. It’s time for sweetest tax of them all.

Never before has a tax been such an instant success. I am talking about what happened in Britain last Friday. That’s when new so-called sugar tax sprung into life, with much of its work already done. The whole idea was … Continue reading

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LEANNE WELLS. Private health care in Australia: health policy’s wicked problem.

The anguish expressed by many of the 1,200 respondents to the Consumers Health Forum’s Out of Pocket Pain survey highlights the widening gulf between the cost of modern medical care and the struggle of many Australians to pay for that … Continue reading

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RUTH ARMSTRONG*. Pathways to justice pass through health: six ways the health sector can help reduce the harms of over-incarceration.

A recent post at Croakey highlighted the major findings of the Australian Law Reform Commission’ s Pathways to Justice report on the over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The report was tabled in parliament last week and is … Continue reading

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TIM WOODRUFF Who Cares About My Toothless Patients?

The inequities in the status of oral health in Australia are appalling because of a lack of political will and a resistance to recognising that all Australians deserve to receive adequate dental care. This resistance is rooted in the elitism … Continue reading

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STEPHEN LEEDER. Morality And Health.

Writing last Thursday in the Conversation about the South African cricket scandal, Michelle Grattan pointed to politicians “who would prefer to overlook awkward parallels with conduct in politics – for instance the endemic tampering with the ball of truth.” 

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BOB DOUGLAS. Changing drug law and practice to help rather than harm.

Last week Australia21, (www.australia21.org.au ), hosted a summit of experts on drug treatment, drug law and the social impact of drug use in Australia.  The signatories included a former Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, a former Vice-Chancellor of the … Continue reading

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UTA MIHM. How to avoid excessive surgery out-of-pocket costs

Tips on negotiating with your doctor and shopping around for a surgeon who doesn’t charge excessively.

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JOHN DWYER. Poor oral health in Australia; a costly chronic problem getting worse and which current strategies have no chance of resolving.

Australia’s health “system”, such as it is has two “Achilles’ Heels”. The left one is our lack of emphasis on the prevention of disease while the right one concerns our incompetence in integrating health services in a patient-focused way. Both … Continue reading

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MATTHEW FISHER. Malcolm Turnbull in denial on climate change: The Uses and Abuses of Complex Causation.

It is commonplace for political and corporate leaders to obfuscate public debate on issues they want to avoid by applying simplistic, linear concepts of cause and effect to events that have multiple causes. In the case of climate change, one … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Health | 4 Comments

DR WARWICK YONGE. Corporate medicine: Illness or cure?

Australia has a unique mix of private, public, for profit and NFP stakeholders in its health system. This structure derives significantly from Constitutional issues. Corporate medicine now occupies a significant part of the health landscape. Is this a cause for … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Our cricketers The Ugly Australians. A REPOST

Repost from 01/04/2015. Things have only got worse with the cheating in South Africa.. We need a clean out not just of players but coaching staff,Cricket Australia and the media . They are very good cricketers, but the behaviour of … Continue reading

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RANJANA SRIVASTAVA From a frontline clinician: here’s what’s wrong with private health insurance

My patients often pay thousands of dollars annually for their cover, but it’s not cost-effective in many cases

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JAMES FERNYHOUGH. Half of Australians with private health insurance say it isn’t worth it

Half of Australians with private health insurance say it is no longer worth the expense, a new survey commissioned by comparison website iSelect has found.

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