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Category Archives: Health
Fire chiefs and health professionals stand up for action on climate change. Fly ash from coal burning causes major problems in Indonesia. The International Energy Agency identifies the main trends influencing energy supply over the next 20 years.
ARTHUR CHESTERFIELD-EVANS. Government Inaction may be a significant cause of Australia’s World-Leading Cancer Rates
Australia has the highest rate for cancer according to the World Cancer Research Fund. At 468 /100,000 we are 7% ahead of NZ (who have 438), 33% ahead of the US (352), 40% ahead of Canada (334), 47% ahead of … Continue reading
Crown Resorts Limited has been under siege recently. Multiple inquiries are currently underway across multiple jurisdictions. Allegations include breaches of money laundering regulations, use of the casino by criminal figures, including an arms dealer the subject of UN sanctions, and … Continue reading
Health Minister Hunt was probably hoping that loosing the recent election would allow him to escape having to work out what to do with the problem child of the MyHealthRecord. He and his party won and now he has to … Continue reading
Over recent weeks, the alcohol industry has been drumming up media discussion about Australia’s guidelines on alcohol consumption, which are under review by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), with new draft guidelines expected to be released for … Continue reading
JENNIFER DOGGETT, LESLEY RUSSELL. The Private Health Insurance dilemma: a product in search of a role (Croakey 22-10-19)
Medibank has announced that it will become Australia’s first private health insurer to make potential out-of-pocket (OOP) costs publicly available in a move to shore up public trust, after winning a ‘Shonky’ award from consumer group Choice for “junk” policies … Continue reading
DAVID SHEARMAN. Formulating a medical response to a deadly disease of disordered thinking (Croakey 16-10-19)
As much of the rest of the world wakes up to the climate crisis, Australia continues to be “a kingpin” of global fossil fuel promotion.
Country electorates have the most disadvantaged people, the poorest health and inferior health services. But the National Party does very little about it.
The impacts of drought and climate change on health and wellbeing are threatening to increase the growing gap in health status between Australians who live in metropolitan and rural areas. Yet the Morrison Government and its National Party partners have … Continue reading
Two zombie policies stalk the Private Health Insurance (PHI) policy world: A ‘Hospital Benefits Schedule’ and ‘Medicare Select’. Here’s why both should have been put to rest long ago.
JEFFREY BRAITHWAITE: How to improve the health system, part 2: learn from things going right as well as things going wrong
At the Australian Institute of Health Innovation at Macquarie University we have around 80 projects going on at any point in time. There are more than 180 people – doctoral and masters students, professional staff, researchers, visiting academics and associates … Continue reading
I hear many stories and over the years have conducted many studies about people’s experiences with doctors and hospitals. I access these in the course of my work as a health systems researcher and some simply come to me as … Continue reading
Imagine what would happen if a fully laden 747 airliner crashed in Australia every week for a whole year. There would be public outcry, an outrage, swift political action and an enquiry at the highest level, possibly a Royal Commission.
JOHN MENADUE. A updated post: A Commonwealth Hospital Benefit similar to the existing Medical 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 three possible ways – part funding a Medicare dental scheme, additional funding for public … Continue reading
BENEDICT SHEEHY. Bupa’s nursing home scandal is more evidence of a deep crisis in regulation (The Conversation 13-9-19)
British health-care conglomerate Bupa runs more nursing homes in Australia than anyone else. We now know its record in meeting basic standards of care is also worse than any other provider.
The world’s rich countries continue to pump US$64 billion per year into coal companies, with Japan leading the charge internationally and domestically. Unhealthy environments are responsible for almost a quarter of deaths globally, but maybe if your community is in … Continue reading
It is unfair and poor public policy that mortality and morbidity rates in rural Australia are significantly worse than those in metropolitan areas. There is an urgent need for a National Rural Health Strategy, accompanied by a sustained increase in … Continue reading
An update on the Adani mine to start and on Sydney’s Sea-eagle chicks to close. In the middle of the sandwich is evidence demonstrating the lethal effects of air pollution and the health benefits of reducing even apparently low levels … Continue reading
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
A new report from the IPCC focusing on land and climate change draws together many threads from the environmental and social crises facing the world. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are of course the major cause of global warming but … Continue reading
ALEXANDER HOLDEN and HEIKO SPALLEK. Private Health Insurance Under the Lens: Dental Providers and Patients Should Contribute to the Discussion.
While Stephen Duckett’s and Kristina Nemet’s recently released Grattan Institute report “The history and purposes of private health insurance” predominantly deals with the medical part of private health insurance (PHI), many questions that are raised are of vital interest to … Continue reading
Shocking scandals continue to roll through the media cycle, featuring abuse of power and influence by the addictive industries, and alleging corruption and worse. Who hasn’t read or heard about Crown Casino’s high roller operation or the ABC’s investigation into … Continue reading
The first of this two article series quantified and explained out of pocket (OOP) cost in the Australian Health system. Some areas of OOP costs are acceptable and there is no need to intervene. OOP costs for non PBS pharmaceuticals, … Continue reading
There has been recent public and media focus on out of pocket (OOP) costs for Australians receiving health care, usually referred to as Gap fees. Minister Hunt recently announced his intention to establish a Website to publish doctors’ fees. This … Continue reading
JOHN DWYER. Another hard to believe example of the weakness of our regulators in protecting consumers from healthcare fraud.
When I was much younger I often dipped into Ripley’s “Believe it or not” for a laugh, amazement and even enlightenment. I had a look at their website recently as I prepared to tell you a story that would fit … Continue reading
CHARLES LIVINGSTONE. The Crown allegations show the repeated failures of our gambling regulators (the Conversation 30 July 2019)
Regulatory failure has been a hot topic in Australia recently. Royal commissions into the financial and aged care sectors have revealed major regulatory failures. The harm done by these oversights has been significant. Regulation is not just red tape. It … Continue reading
The persisting poor health of Aboriginal people over decades is an embarrassing stain on our national reputation and one that seems obstinately difficult to erase. How can this situation be effectively managed?
Stephen Duckett of the Grattan Institute has highlighted the growing and serious plight of PHI as more and more young people decide not to waste their money and are opting out of PHI. In response the CEO of NIB in … Continue reading
The private health insurance funds have effectively been on notice for 50 years, since the time of the moon landing.
JOHN DWYER The crisis in Private Health Insurance arrangements in Australia are a symptom of our public health failures.
“Australia’s private health insurance (PHI) industry fears it is in a death spiral, and politicians need to rethink whether or to what extent taxpayers should continue to subsidise the industry” the Grattan Institute tells us as they call for a … Continue reading