13 March 2020

Coronavirus crisis exposes fundamental flaws in our healthcare system

Australia’s 1950s-style, GP-centric primary care model is not fit to respond to the increased prevalence of chronic disease — and now we know it’s not fit to respond to an infectious disease pandemic either.

5 July 2019

Why primary care reform is so hard

Primary care was barely discussed in the 2019 federal election campaign. Reform is needed, but it’s difficult. Here’s why.

30 July 2018

Poor and elderly Australians let down by ailing primary health system

Although by world standards Australia has an extensive set of primary care services, the Grattan Institute’s new report, Mapping Primary Care, finds too many poorer Australians still can’t afford to go to a GP when they need to, or a dentist when they should.

1 May 2017

Money given to GPs from ending the Medicare rebate freeze should target reform

If the whispers are right, the Medicare rebate freeze will be partially lifted in next week’s federal budget, at a cost of half-a-billion dollars. It will be a wasted opportunity if the extra money that will go to GP clinics is not used to buy better general practice.

22 July 2016

Interventions needed in areas of high hospital admission rates

When people end up in hospital for diabetes, tooth decay, or other conditions that should be treatable or manageable out of hospital, it’s a warning sign of system failure.

20 July 2016

Don’t just blame older Australians for increased hospital demand

Australian Medical Association president Michael Gannon last week headed his list of reasons for increased pressure on the health system with population ageing.

3 May 2016

Federal budget 2016: health experts react

For health care at least, this is a no surprises budget. Read Dr Stephen Duckett’s reaction to the budget’s initiatives for the health sector.

14 March 2016

Lessons from Bacchus Marsh

Review of the events at Bacchus Marsh has shown that serious safety and quality issues were not identified until it was far too late. Victoria can not afford to neglect safety and quality in hospitals.

1 February 2016

Health in 2016: a cheat sheet on hospitals, Medicare and private health insurance reform

We start 2016 as we started 2015 – with big challenges for the health system and uncertainty as to how governments will meet them. Hopefully this will be the year the health system rises to meet the big challenges of 21st-century health care.

2 December 2015

Government policy, not consumer behaviour, is driving rising Medicare costs

A report released last week by the Parliamentary Budget Office shows that government policy has driven a significant proportion of the growth in MBS costs. It must be hoped new policies developed in response will be both more sophisticated.