Consumers would win an important place in future negotiations about government payments to pharmacy owners and the services they provide under an option proposed in the interim report of the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation. “The recognition of the importance of consumer interests in...
The Consumers Health Forum supports the call for the enforcement of Medicare principles to ensure private patients in public hospitals do not receive preferential treatment ahead of public patients. “We back the recommendation in a new report by Catholic Health Australia, that the only driver for...
Moves to tighten Medicare payments for “urgent” after hours services should ensure that any new measures do not reduce services for people with valid need for care, the Consumers Health Forum says. “The report by the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review acknowledges that after-hours GP services are...
A new report showing dramatic differences in treatment rates around Australia signals a pressing need for reforms to ensure equitable access to appropriate health care for all Australians, the Consumers Health Forum, says. “A seven-fold difference in hospitalisation for heart failure and a 15-fold...
The appointment of a second consumers representative to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee recognises the value of the consumer perspective in vital decisions about access to medicines, the Consumers Health Forum said today. “We are delighted that Bel Harper has been appointed to the...
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.
Diana Aspinall
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...
Australia’s health system is turning into an increasingly inequitable mix of high health fund profits while public patients wait longer for care in public hospitals. “New figures have delivered a double whammy for patients. Public patients are waiting much longer for elective surgery than privately...
The staged removal of the Medicare freeze should reduce pressure on Australia’s high out of pocket health costs but Australia still needs longer term reform to future proof our health system. Overall this health budget is a commendable attempt to rebalance priorities while seeking to establish a platform that provides hope for a future more effective health system that is both responsive to consumer needs but also delivers best bang for the buck.
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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