7 March 2018

How to fund better palliative care

Governments should strive to make palliative care a universally accessible service. But for this to happen, new approaches to funding will need to be adopted, based on the experience of funding reforms in other parts of the health system.

15 February 2018

Online Hospital Complications Calculator launched

One in four patients who stay overnight in an Australian hospital will have something go wrong, but a veil of secrecy hangs over which hospitals – and which doctors – have higher rates of complications and which are safety leaders.

6 February 2018

Fix the sickest hospital wards first

Australia needs to set a big target for improving hospital safety. About one in every nine patients who go into hospital in Australia — public or private — suffers a complication. That’s about 900,000 patients each year. At least one in every 100 patients contracts a hospital-acquired infection, one in every 75 endures a complication with their procedure, and the list goes on.

5 February 2018

Hospitals are risky places – but some are better than others

One in every nine patients who go into hospital in Australia suffers a complication: when something preventable goes wrong with their care. They might develop an infection from a hygiene breach, for instance, or be given the wrong dose or type of drug.

1 February 2018

Not all genetic tests should be publicly funded – here’s why

New genetic technologies hold great promise in their potential to treat patients based on their individual genetic information. Advances in mapping the human genome mean the cost of doing a genetic test has fallen dramatically, though the costs of these tests – and subsequent treatment – are still high.

31 January 2018

The future of precision medicine in Australia

It’s exciting to think we’re on the brink of a genomic revolution in health care. The Australian Council of Learned Academies’ precision medicine project, co-authored by Grattan’s Stephen Duckett, sketches the current trends in ‘precision medicine’ technologies, and explores what broader implementation of precision medicine capabilities may mean for Australians.

24 January 2018

Expanding the breadth of Medicare: learning from Australia

The design of Australia’s Medicare programme was based on the Canadian scheme, adapted somewhat to take account of differences in the constitutional division of powers in the two countries and differences in history. This paper discusses four areas where Canada could potentially learn from Australia in a positive way.

15 January 2018

Why you should avoid hospitals in January

January is the quietest month in Australia. But for hospitals, which provide care 24/7/365, January is a time of big transition. And for patients, that means January is when things are more likely to go wrong.

19 December 2017

Shining a light into a dark corner of Victoria’s health system

For too long, mental health care has been a Cinderella – unloved and neglected. We as a community have been willing to turn a blind eye to the problems, probably because we thought people with mental illness are not like us. The reality is they are.

14 December 2017

Cutting funding for hospital complications is unlikely to change patient care – here’s why

The Commonwealth government is implementing a contentious scheme to punish hospitals where patients suffer avoidable complications, by withholding funding.

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