Latest News and Opinion

18 February 2018

The Commonwealth’s limited role in improving schools

We’ve been down this path before. Imposing prescriptive federal funding conditions is costly and sometimes counterproductive. It can destroy policy coherence and simply increase red tape. Unless the states and territories buy in to the changes, they will just go through the motions of complying, without actually enforcing real change.

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.

12 February 2018

Why the Commonwealth should resist meddling in schools

Australia’s education debate is shifting at last, from how much money governments should spend on schools to how best to spend the money for the benefit of students. The Grattan Institute’s new report, The Commonwealth’s role in improving schools, examines what the Commonwealth should do if it really wants to boost student outcomes.

9 February 2018

What’s the best way to close the gender gap in retirement incomes?

Australia’s retirement income system is not working for the poorest Australians, who are disproportionately women. The superannuation lobby wants more generous super tax breaks to boost the retirement incomes of women, but this would likely worsen the gender gap.

8 February 2018

Closing the gap in Indigenous literacy and numeracy? Not remotely – or in cities

Every year in Australia, the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results show Indigenous school students are well behind their non-Indigenous peers.

8 February 2018

The shocking truth about Australia’s efforts to ‘close the gap’

The “gap” between Indigenous and other school students is even bigger than official figures show. Grattan research reveals that Year 9 Indigenous students in very remote areas are five years behind in numeracy, six years behind in reading, and seven-to-eight years behind in writing. Even in the cities and regions – where most Indigenous students live – the gap is three to four years by Year 9.

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

Designing a more reliable National Electricity Market

Australia is seeking to design a ‘reliability mechanism’ as part of the National Energy Guarantee. This Working Paper provides suggestions on how to design the mechanism and how it might work. On balance, we support a well-designed retailer obligation that utilises commercial market drivers. But we recognise there are risks in this approach. Policy makers will need to consult widely to ensure the new mechanism achieves the right balance between higher reliability and lower costs.

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.

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