30
Sep
2015

Medicare at Middle Age: Adapting a Fundamentally Good System

by Stephen Duckett


Published by The Australian Economic Review, September 2015

Policy Forum: Towards a Stronger Medicare
Medicare at Middle Age: Adapting a Fundamentally Good System

Abstract
Strong on addressing financial barriers to access to hospitals and, to a lesser extent,medical services, Medicare has retained residual financial barriers to access, with significant out-of-pocket costs for some, and has not adapted well to the challenges of the twenty-first century. Despite claims to thecontrary, Medicare is not unsustainable.However, Medicare’s payment arrangementsfor primary health care, particularly forcare for people with chronic illnesses, needto be redesigned. The adaptive efficiency of the health system, including Medicare, needs to be strengthened, possibly through creation of more independent determinative bodies.