Category Archives: Health

FIONA ARMSTRONG. Health groups release climate policy scorecard: Coalition earns 0/8

The national coalition of health groups working for climate action, Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA), has released a Federal Election Scorecard after analysing the parties’ policies on climate change and health. 

Posted in Environment and climate, Health | Comments Off on FIONA ARMSTRONG. Health groups release climate policy scorecard: Coalition earns 0/8

RICHARD DAY Pharmacy Guild Out Muscles Government Again

Most medicines on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS) are for chronic, conditions that affect one in two Australians and include conditions such as hypertension, raised cholesterol and type II diabetes. Treatment invariably involves medications, often multiple, adding significant costs to … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

ALEXANDER HOLDEN and HEIKO SPALLEK. Labor’s Pensioner Dental Plan: Long in the Tooth or a Novel Idea? 

A step in the right direction for Australia’s oral health? Following the release of the Grattan Institute’s report; Filling the gap: A universal dental care scheme for Australia, we have seen the Greens announce their policy of a universal dental scheme, “Denticare” … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on ALEXANDER HOLDEN and HEIKO SPALLEK. Labor’s Pensioner Dental Plan: Long in the Tooth or a Novel Idea? 

Zali Steggall takes on Tony Abbott over hospitals-to-tax-haven deal (Michael West)

Tony Abbott has come under pressure from Warringah independent, Zali Steggall, over the Government’s decision to approve the sale of the new Northern Beaches Hospital, and 42 other Australian hospitals, to an obscure company in the Cayman Islands.

Posted in Health, Politics | 3 Comments

RAY MOYNIHAN, PAUL GLASZIOU. We need new rules for defining who is sick. Step 1: remove vested interests (The Conversation)

Did you know the definition of high blood pressure (hypertension) in the United States was recently greatly expanded? Overnight, tens of millions of people were reclassified, leaving one in every two adults with a diagnosis of hypertension. The move has … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

MICHAEL THORN. Writing on the wall for unhealthy advertising

Regulation in this country around the advertising of unhealthy products – alcohol, junk food and gambling – is a hodgepodge of black letter law; codes of practice; industry voluntary schemes; and policy-led arrangements variously administered by the Commonwealth, states/territories and … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on MICHAEL THORN. Writing on the wall for unhealthy advertising

GRAEME STEWART. Major holes in Medicare.

For a very large and growing number of poorer Australians, the high out-of-pocket expenses for medical care in Australia to which Ross Gittins refers (SMH ‘Prevention is better than cure’, April 24), are tearing major holes in the safety net … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 6 Comments

FIONA ARMSTRONG. Who will address the health emergency of climate change?

Climate change causes many health problems and will have enormous impacts on Australia’s health system. Yet most Australian governments have been slow to prepare the health services for the inevitable challenges. Fifty health, social welfare and conservation groups, representing over … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Health, Politics | Comments Off on FIONA ARMSTRONG. Who will address the health emergency of climate change?

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

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

H.K. COLEBATCH. What’s wrong with the APS?

The Thodey review has stimulated a wide variety of diagnoses of what’s wrong with the APS, but one has been missed.  Could it be that its problem is hubris?

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

JOHN DWYER. Politics and anti-science. Hunt’s pathetic “Flip-Flop” on the use of Taxpayer’s dollars to pay for “Alternative” Medicine

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) is Australia’s pre-eminent provider of advice on science and health to government and the community. Concerned that taxpayer’s dollars might be wasted subsidising private health insurance payments for a range of “Alternative”clinical … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

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

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

JOHN DWYER – Will the health initiatives announced last week significantly and sustainably improve health care for Australians?

  Given that polls constantly have Australians saying that healthcare is a top issue in every election, expectations are high that our politicians will describe a commitment to those structural reforms so badly needed to improve equity of access to … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | Comments Off on JOHN DWYER – Will the health initiatives announced last week significantly and sustainably improve health care for Australians?

LESLEY RUSSELL: The Budget as an Election Campaign Document

This year’s Government budget documents and the Opposition’s response are budgetary in name only – they should be seen as election campaign commitments. As such, they provide a telling story about the parties’ focus on health and healthcare and the … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on LESLEY RUSSELL: The Budget as an Election Campaign Document

JOHN DWYER Chiropractic manipulation of infant’s spine

Recently social media and then the mainstream media exploded with outrage following the publication of a photo showing a Melbourne chiropractor “treating” a newborn baby by suspending the child in midair, holding its foot high as it thrashed around in … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | Comments Off on JOHN DWYER Chiropractic manipulation of infant’s spine

JOHN MENADUE. The Australian Pharmacy Guild continues to dud taxpayers and patients.

In last night’s budget the Government had been proposing to deliver cheaper medicines by doubling the number of medications that could be dispensed from a single prescription  for conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. Taxpayers and patients would … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 8 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Labor’s proposed Australian Health Reform Commission is a welcome start.

For many years several of us in Pearls and Irritations have argued that we need an independent and professional health commission to lead an informed public discussion on health issues and recommend to the Commonwealth Government and COAG on how … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

ALEXANDER HOLDEN and HEIKO SPALLEK. Laying Out the Road Map for an Australian Universal Dental Scheme

Can you imagine an Australia where visiting a dentist was as simple as visiting a GP? The Grattan Institute has released a report: Filling the dental gap: A universal dental scheme for Australia, that does just this. The report begins … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

JOHN DWYER. Health Reform’s “Holy Grail”;Medicare must fund the “team Medicine” approach to Primary Care.

  Surely my disgust at the Coalition’s decision to spend more than a billion dollars re-opening the Christmas Island detention centre to make sure that none of those nasty murderers, rapists and paedophiles ever get to real Australia for any … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 4 Comments

HEIKO SPALLEK and ALEXANDER HOLDEN. Oral health – an essential component of a healthy life.

“Oral health is fundamental to overall health, wellbeing and quality of life. It is an important part of general health, affecting not only the individual, but also the broader health system and economy.” So says the 2017 Performance Monitoring Baseline … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

JENNIFER DOGGETT and LESLEY RUSSELL. Tackling Out-of-Pocket Costs

  At the end of February the Federal Government released the report, twelve months in the making, from the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Out-of-Pocket Costs and outlined a national strategy to tackle excessive out-of-pocket costs. It is our opinion that … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

PETER BROOKS. Will teenagers’ involvement in the climate change debate be a ‘game changer’?

March 15 has been flagged as a coordinated day of school strikes by teenagers around the world. Let us hope that they will start a new movement to bring home the urgency for real action around the world, but particularly … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Health | 2 Comments

LESLEY RUSSELL. Can Primary Health Networks (PHNs) Drive Needed Primary Care Reforms?

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

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Hospitals should be the last resort, not the first resort.

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

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

IAN WEBSTER. Of minds imprisoned.

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

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Health | 7 Comments

JILL MARGO. Why Denmark is reducing hospitals while we are building more. (AFR 19.2.2019)

“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

Posted in Health | Comments Off on JILL MARGO. Why Denmark is reducing hospitals while we are building more. (AFR 19.2.2019)

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

Posted in Health, Politics | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Health, Politics | 2 Comments