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Category Archives: Health
LESLEY RUSSELL. Can Primary Health Networks (PHNs) Drive Needed Primary Care Reforms? A strong primary care system is essential to the equity, efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare system and for improvements in health outcomes. However, the structure and funding … Continue reading
Politicians, the media and the public focus on iconic hospitals rather than health. We have too many hospitals and too many hospital beds. We need to focus health improvement not in hospitals, but in primary care in the community – … Continue reading
Beyond the image of the vagabond and the impaired bodies and minds of homeless people there are untapped veins of intellect and potential; this is where our focus should be. “The homeless are our most important dreamers, prophets and poets … Continue reading
KERRY BREEN, M TAFFY JONES. Mandatory reporting: Health ministers still have their heads in the sand.
There are a number of unsatisfactory elements of the so-called “national” scheme for regulating doctors (and all health professionals) but the most problematic from day one in 2010 has been the requirement for mandatory reporting of ill doctors by their … Continue reading
“About 15 years ago, we realised the solution to these problems is not more hospitals but to think about how we can deliver healthcare in a different way,” says Hans Erik Henriksen, CEO of Healthcare DENMARK. “We aim to deliver … Continue reading
PETER BROOKS. Will Labor Really Be Brave On Health Reform – Response To National Press Club Address By Catherine King.
The major challenges that beset our health system are well articulated with the obvious commitment to strengthening Medicare, making it fairer and tackling some of the major funding deficits introduced over the past decade such as the Medicare rebate freeze. … Continue reading
ALP health spokesperson Catherine King addressed the National Press Club this week to expound Labor’s vision of health care changes if it wins office. Perhaps the highlight of the address was a restatement of Labor’s vision ‘of a truly universal … Continue reading
Will meaningful and significant reform of the Australian health care system occur at last? Will there be bipartisan political support for the initiatives proposed by Labor? 2019 could be the year that delivers.
Shadow health minister, Catherine King, in an address to the National Press Club, has detailed the major health initiatives Labor would embrace if elected in May. Her plans indicate that she has heard and accepted many of the priorities for … Continue reading
It’s time to stop the shrillness. The boats have stopped. Both sides of politics are now committed to turnbacks. Both Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten will do whatever it takes to stop asylum seekers setting sail from Indonesia. If asylum … Continue reading
Labor’s announcement on Wednesday that it would establish a permanent Australian Health Reform Commission has been welcomed though all eyes will of course be on the detail and the funding commitments to emerge in the leadup to the next federal … Continue reading
The Rudd/Gillard governments muddled through on health policy. There was very little to show in the way of useful reform,with one exception. That was plain packaging of cigarettes. The record is not encouraging, and will not be better in future … Continue reading
Our health care system provides, at least for metropolitan based Australians, world class management of medical emergencies. A stent in a coronary artery in the middle of the night can save a heart in danger and our dedicated stroke units … Continue reading
Climate change. Global warming. A hotter planet. A hotter Australia. Yet few are asking the difficult question of ‘how hot is too hot?’. We have so many elephants in the room at present that ‘the room’ is getting pretty crowded, … Continue reading
We humans are, by nature, social beings who need each other. We need the sense of belonging to communities that sustain, nurture, support and protect us and even give us our sense of personal identity – you can’t make sense … Continue reading
In 2017 I referred a patient for relatively simple orthopaedic surgery on her wrist to enable her to get back to working in a café. She had been advised that she was a category 3 patient and should be operated … Continue reading
MARK PROOST. Millions of Americans flood into Mexico for health care – the human caravan you haven’t heard about. (Truthout 23.1.2019)
The Trump administration is trying to convey panic that there’s an immediate crisis on the southern border, pointing to caravans of desperate people who have traveled thousands of miles. It’s true that Latin and Central Americans are coming to the … Continue reading
LESLEY RUSSELL. The recommendations from the MBS Review for reforms in primary care: who will ensure these proposals are properly considered?
Hidden in a pack of draft reports from the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce that were released by the Morrison Government without fanfare just before Christmas are a series of recommendations that, if effectively funded and implemented, could begin … Continue reading
The ALP does not seem to understand its own creation- Medicare- and that the $11 b taxpayer subsidy to PHI is like a Damocles sword that hangs over Medicare. Ian McAuley in Medicare under threat from Labor points out that … Continue reading
Last year Labor announced that if elected it would refer health funding, particularly private health insurance, to the Productivity Commission, it being 50 years since the value of PHI was last examined by government. It appears, however, that Labor is … Continue reading
The professionalism in hospitals may have contributed greatly to better data collection and use of technology, but after a visit to a hospice and an ICU unit recently, I wondered what has happened to care. Our system is failing us.
In a world divided by conflict and greed, the Global Fund’s fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria is a matter of enlightened self-interest and a reminder of how much humanity can accomplish when we cooperate to save lives. For … Continue reading
PETER BROOKS. If specialists cannot be fair in their fee charging – should we not be supporting a Royal Commission into medical fees
Well done John Menadue for starting 2019 off with something that must strike at the heart of all Australians- out of pocket medical expenses. Some of the highest in the world and showing no sign of slowing and driven by … Continue reading
JOHN MENADUE. We don’t have a coherent health workforce. We have highly trained and professional people working in silos.
In the blue-collar area where there have been very substantial workforce reform and improvements which have helped transform the Australian economy. It was begun under the Hawke/Keating governments and continued under the Howard governments. But the health sector the largest … Continue reading
JOHN MENADUE. The Best of 2018: Why dental care was excluded from Medicare and why it should now be included.
In 1974, the Whitlam Government decided to exclude dental care from Medicare for two reasons. The first was cost. The second was political in that Gough Whitlam felt that combatting the doctors would be hard enough without having to combat … Continue reading
JOHN MENADUE. The Pandora’s box of excessive medical specialists fees! An update and repost from April 19 2017
‘Perhaps [we could consider] a review of what Pierre Trudeau and his government (in Canada) did in 1984 when they took on a system not dissimilar to ours – uncontrolled fee for service – and legislated that doctors could charge … Continue reading
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have got it right when they frame the conditions we label as mental illness as issues of social and emotional well-being. They do not consider the endemic problems in their communities, as mental illnesses.
MARTYN LLOYD JONES, PAUL KOMESAROFF. Here’s why doctors are backing pill testing at music festivals across Australia
For many years experts in the field of drug policy in Australia have known existing policies are failing. Crude messages (calls for total abstinence: “just say no to drugs”) and even cruder enforcement strategies (harsher penalties, criminalisation of drug users) … Continue reading
MICHAEL THORN. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept – sports’ addiction to alcohol, gambling and junk food advertising.
No ad breaks, declares Fox Sports of its coverage of the Boxing Day cricket test in Melbourne. Well none, if you don’t count the scoreboard endorsements, perimeter branding and other in-game adverts promoting one brand or another. All of them … Continue reading
One of the few issues that many Americans can agree on in 2018 is, improbably, marijuana legalization. Pot is now legal in thirty-three states and Washington, D.C. In April, John Boehner, the former Republican Speaker of the House, made the … Continue reading