Category Archives: Health

PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 17 November 2019

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.

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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[1].  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

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CHARLES LIVINGSTONE. Crown has an AGM, amidst the scandals

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

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DAVID MORE. Has Health Minister Hunt Been A Bit Too Clever By Half On The #myHealthRecord?

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

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PETER MILLER. How big alcohol is trying to fool the Australian public about alcohol guidelines

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

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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

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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.

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JOHN MENADUE. The failure of the National Party on rural poverty and rural health.

Country electorates have the most disadvantaged people, the poorest health and inferior health services.  But the National Party does very little about it.

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LESLEY RUSSELL. Where is the Focus on Rural Health (Redux) – Looking at You, National Party

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

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STEPHEN DUCKETT. Time to kill the Private Health Insurance zombies

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.

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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

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JEFFREY BRAITHWAITE: How to improve the health system, part 1: support the staff

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

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KIM OATES. An insidious tragedy

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.

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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

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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.

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 22 September 2019

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

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LESLEY RUSSELL. Where is the Focus on Rural Health?

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

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 8 September 2019

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

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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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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 18 August 2019

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

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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

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MICHAEL THORN. Alcohol industry calling the shots on Australian health policy

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

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ANDREW PESCE. Patient Gap payments and Out of Pocket Costs. What needs to be done? Part 2

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

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ANDREW PESCE. Explaining Gap Fees and their impact. What you knew and what you may not know Part 1.

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

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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

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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

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MICHAEL GRACEY. Closing that Aboriginal Health Gap

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?

Posted in Health, Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Taxpayer subsidised Private Health Insurance is a political scam.

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

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. The Coalition’s conflict of disloyalties on health.

The private health insurance funds have effectively been on notice for 50 years, since the time of the moon landing.  

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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

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