Latest News and Opinion

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.

31 July 2018

Health workforce challenges and opportunities

The roles performed by health professionals should be reassessed to ensure patients are getting the best care and taxpayers are getting the best value. In this presentation, Grattan’s Stephen Duckett shows that hospital specialists believe they often do tasks that could be done for less cost by someone less qualified, without reducing the quality of care.

30 July 2018

Poor and elderly Australians let down by ailing primary health system

Although by world standards Australia has an extensive set of primary care services, the Grattan Institute’s new report, Mapping Primary Care, finds too many poorer Australians still can’t afford to go to a GP when they need to, or a dentist when they should.

26 July 2018

Why Australia should have a tax on sugar sweetened beverages

A tax on sugar sweetened beverages has been offered as one solution to Australia’s increasing obesity problem. While it won’t ‘fix obesity’ on its own, it will likely slow the current growth in rates of obesity, as well as help recover some of the cost to taxpayers.

26 July 2018

We need to switch off these superannuation rorts

For all the political noise about rising energy bills, Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten would do well to focus more on the obscene superannuation fees paid by Australian savers if they want to save households some real money.

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