Author Archives: Tim Woodruff

Tim Woodruff

About Tim Woodruff

Tim Woodruff is President of the Doctors Reform Society, an organisation of doctors and medical students promoting measures to improve health for all, in a socially just and equitable way. On Twitter: @drsreform

The powerless suffer and the powerful carry on amid Covid-19

Covid-19 presents us with an opportunity. A more equal society, more resilient to the challenges ahead, or a society ruled by power imbalances, struggling to cope with both natural and man-made disasters.

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TIM WOODRUFF. Health Services or a Health System?: We Have a Choice

How do we keep our population healthy? From a patient perspective we don’t have a health system. From a provider’s perspective we don’t have a health system.

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TIM WOODRUFF. COVID 19: Lessons for our Health ?System

Australia doesn’t have a health system. We have a maze of poorly connected health services which barely manage to work together to provide health care of extremely variable quality depending on many competing variables such as income, geography, ethnicity, culture, … Continue reading

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TIM WOODRUFF. Private Health Insurance: Where To Now?

Much has been written about the problems of the Private Health Insurance (PHI) industry. Desperate attempts to make an inherently inefficient product less inefficient have been proposed. Such suggestions do nothing for the inherent unfairness of taxpayer subsidised PHI. But … Continue reading

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TIM WOODRUFF. Health Policy: Where to Now?

The recent election result was a major disappointment for those interested in improving the health of the nation. The re-election of the Coalition promises an ongoing increase in support for private health insurance as the Government continues its long-term agenda of … Continue reading

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TIM WOODRUFF. Health Policy and Successful Politics.

Health policy reform is difficult. There are an abundance of powerful stakeholders whose number one priority is definitely not optimum health care for all Australians. But most Australians do share the view that our health care system (which isn’t really … Continue reading

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TIM WOODRUFF. Cancer is horrible; so is death from any cause.

The Opposition Leader has announced the biggest investment in Medicare for a generation, $2.3 billion to be spent eliminating the co-payments faced by those with cancer who see specialists, need diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy. It is also guaranteeing all new … Continue reading

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TIM WOODRUFF. Out of Pocket Costs: Who is missing out on health care?

One of my patients has epilepsy. She sees a neurologist for that and he charges $200 out of pocket per visit. He has controlled her epilepsy very well. She is on a disability support pension. She believes she will get … Continue reading

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TIM WOODRUFF. Health Reform From Labor: Does the Policy Match the Vision?

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

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TIM WOODRUFF. What’s wrong with Labor’s Private Healthcare Discussion Paper? (Croakey)

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

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TIM WOODRUFF. My Health Record: Major Concerns Continue Despite Backdown By Health Minister.

The Federal Government has finally realised that there are major problems with its implementation of the My Health Record.

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TIM WOODRUFF. Health, Class Warfare, and Social Justice

Class warfare has been with us forever. It could be called a fight for social justice. Indeed, it would seem to be integral to the stepwise progress we have made over centuries as we have moved to a society which … Continue reading

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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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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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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

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TIM WOODRUFF. Basic income guarantee: this is a health issue!

In 1970, conservative republican US President Richard Nixon introduced a health bill into the American Congress. It passed but was defeated in the Senate. He didn’t realise it was a health bill, nor did many of his fellow politicians. It … Continue reading

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TIM WOODRUFF. How universal healthcare is being undermined.

The Medicare rebate freeze is one strategy in that agenda. Reducing the Federal Government’s share of public hospital funding is another. Reducing the support for public dental care is another. Promoting private health insurance in primary health care is another.

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