9 April 2019

The federal Coalition’s report card on health: some passes, too many fails

The Turnbull/Morrison Government has a mixed record, at best. Its pharmaceutical reforms are a success story, but public hospitals funding has been a failure.

4 April 2019

How to improve cataract treatment

It can transform lives, but three problems bedevil provision of cataract surgery in Australia: complications still arise, waiting times are too long, and the rate of provision varies significantly across the country.

2 April 2019

Budget 2019: Support for aged and disability care

The budget has short-term measures to address major issues in aged and disability care, but Australians will have to wait for the royal commissions to fix the long-term problems.

2 April 2019

Budget 2019: A hesitant step forward for Medicare

Medicare funding is slowly creeping into the 21st century. The 19th-century model of individual fees for individual services is being supplemented with a new fee to better manage the care of people with diabetes.

22 March 2019

Filling the dental gap

Universal dental care is a big idea whose time has come. Australians — regardless of their income — can get medical care when they need it. They should be able to get dental care, too, without financial barriers.

18 March 2019

Two million Australians delay or don’t go to the dentist – here’s how we can fix that

Medicare is widely embraced as the central pillar of Australia’s health system. There is no logical reason this coverage should not be extended to oral health.

28 February 2019

Is it time to ditch the private health insurance rebate?

Australians feel pressured to take out private health insurance because of the sticks, but the product is only sustainable with its current level of coverage because of the carrots: the hefty public subsidies.

17 February 2019

Pathos, death talk and palliative care in the assisted dying debate

Proponents of assisted dying can learn from the debate in Victoria. Emotional arguments played a significant role in persuading Victorian lawmakers to support assisted dying legislation, writes Grattan’s Stephen Duckett in this review of submissions to the Legislative Council inquiry into end-of-life care.

13 February 2019

Across the great divide: health in rural Victoria

It’s an indictment of all Australians that the health status of aboriginal people is so poor, Stephen Duckett argues in the Inaugural Violet Marshman Oration. We need to give Indigenous communities more authority to manage their own health services.

14 December 2018

Morrison’s health handout is bad policy (but might be good politics)

The PM’s $1.25 billion Community Health and Hospitals Program is a policy fail. It sets back Commonwealth-state relations by decades; it’s unclear exactly how much money will actually be provided; and it appears designed to shore up support in marginal seats.