The success of modern medicine is popularly seen in terms of hospitals and life-saving surgery. That focus obscures the potential of a different response to much of the ill health in contemporary society. It’s patient-centred integrated health care. In a refreshing acknowledgement, the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, has strongly supported the value this model offers to the health system and the economy. The patient-centred approach sounds straightforward, even prosaic, hardly the heroic life-saving surgery we associate with hospitals, yet the need for integrated care grows each year, along with the burgeoning levels of expenditure directed to our hospitals.
private health insurance. For health fund members baffled about the real impact of the Government’s private insurance reform plan, there was one indicator immediately available.
This article first appeared on Medical Observer, to read the original click here . Dr Richard Zhu’s pioneering SeekMedi website, listing specialist fees, is a breakthrough. While coverage is not nationwide and, presumably, some specialists are yet to be included, it’s a breakthrough in terms of...
With consumer health leaders this week putting the case to Health Minister Greg Hunt for consumer-centred primary care, we have invited two advocates of primary health reform - consumer Geoff Bartle and GP Wally Jammal - to respond to our questions about the big challenges for primary health care.
The transformation of big health funds into for-profit business enterprises sheltered by significant government subsidy and regulations has failed to prompt a complementary response from federal governments, Coalition or Labor, to even the playing field for consumers.
Beakers are science-y
Eighty-two percent of Australians say they are familiar with the term “clinical trial”1, and more than 60% show a willingness to take part on clinical trials. And yet, some 80% of clinical trials still struggle to find people as quickly as planned. This gap between awareness and willingness to take part, and actually taking part is what slows how quickly new treatments become available. There are lots of misunderstandings about clinical trials, which possibly contribute to this gap. Let’s take a look at some of these.
The powerful lobby group has discouraged members to participate in a government survey. This lack of transparency is troubling for consumers and taxpayers.
The five compacts the Health Minister, Greg Hunt, has agreed with health organisations may deliver benefits for health providers and certainty for the medicines industry and community pharmacy sector. But these compacts announced in the federal Budget also raise important questions about the overall benefit for consumers. What will the compacts do for the most pressing health challenges facing Australia: obesity and the care of the growing number of Australians with chronic and complex care needs? At a time when medical knowledge and technology promise better outcomes through more cohesive, integrated health care, the risk is that bi-lateral compacts will further fragment and silo health care.
Photo of a woman
At the Consumers Health Forum we often find that the most effective advocates for improvement in the health system and in medical care are, not surprisingly, those who are high users of health services. A great example of such an advocate is Diana Aspinall. She lives with multiple health conditions...
The progression of Australian governments has made significant policy, funding and legislative commitments in the effort to reform the mental health system, or parts of it. The intent was not access to poor care; the objective was not inadequate quality; the pursuit was not to deliver bad results or be misaligned with the interests of consumers and families. Yet the reality is that many historical and recent Australian independent inquiries into mental health have agreed: reform efforts have not made the transformations we should be seeing, nor are they giving people the outcomes we should be expecting


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