Latest News and Opinion

15 August 2018

Palliative care funding should be redesigned

People referred to palliative care early tend to live longer and die better. In this presentation, Grattan’s Stephen Duckett calls for funding to be redesigned so more people can get high-quality care and have a say in where they die.

15 August 2018

All sides of the climate wars should give the NEG a chance

Australian homes and businesses need lower electricity prices. How to make that happen is now a three-way debate between federal Labor, the federal government and a vocal minority in the government. Addressing climate change has been downgraded or vilified.

14 August 2018

Let’s call out unconscious racism in the treatment of Indigenous Australians

Indigenous Australians suffer racism when they seek or require medical treatment. The good news is that the medical profession acknowledges there is a problem. The bad news is that doctors are not doing nearly enough to bust the systemic bias against our First Peoples.

14 August 2018

Time for the federal government to catch up on political donations reform

Australians should be able to see who donates to political parties, but our political donations laws fall far short of this ideal. Recent reforms in New South Wales and Victoria mean that voters will have much better information about who is donating. But when it comes to donations at the federal level, voters remain largely in the dark.

9 August 2018

Gaps in the proposed new Code of Conduct for doctors

On over-diagnosis, referrals for diagnostic tests should be made only when the tests are likely to yield useful information which will inform treatment and other choices in the patient’s specific circumstances. Tests should be ordered only when the patient has consented to them. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

9 August 2018

What’s your state’s position at the crucial National Energy Guarantee meeting?

State and territory energy ministers will hold a crucial meeting today with their federal counterpart Josh Frydenberg. At stake is the future of the federal government’s flagship National Energy Guarantee (NEG), which if implemented could finally end Australia’s long-running uncertainty over climate and energy policy.

9 August 2018

NEG agreement will be our first step to energy sanity

When they meet on Friday, Australia’s energy ministers can trigger the beginning of the end of the climate wars by cautiously endorsing the National Energy Guarantee. Those who say the guarantee is enormously complex are wrong. It’s alarmingly simple.

2 August 2018

Doctors’ fees shouldn’t just be transparent, they should be fair and reasonable

Out-of-pocket costs is a hot-button issue. It is on the agenda for a health ministers’ meeting this week, where the Victorian health minister will push the Commonwealth for more transparency about doctors’ fees.

31 July 2018

Safer care saves money – how to improve care and save money at the same time

Complications suffered in hospitals cause harm and expense to patients – and they cost hospitals money. Complications cost hospitals more than the revenue they receive from those complications. In this presentation, Grattan’s Stephen Duckett proposes changes to the way we manage and regulate hospitals, to improve the quality of care and to save money.

31 July 2018

Good medical practice needs to be founded on patients’ rights

The draft Code of Conduct issued by the Medical Board of Australia, Good medical practice: A Code of Conduct for doctors in Australia, is deficient. It is silent in several areas where it should not be. In this submission, Grattan’s Stephen Duckett identifies ways to strengthen the code so that patients’ rights come first.

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