Thursday, February 20, 2014

It Look Like Health Is In For A Real Shake Up. Here Is All You Need To Know To Appreciate They Don’t Have a Clue!

This appeared today.

Medicare plans: Health Minister Peter Dutton flags overhaul, calls for discussion on GP co-payments

February 20, 2014
Health Minister Peter Dutton has flagged an overhaul of Medicare, suggesting Australians who can afford it should pay more for their healthcare.
Mr Dutton has used a major speech to declare he wants there to be a frank, fearless and far-reaching discussion about the health system.
He argued the system is unsustainable and he wants to "modernise and strengthen" Medicare.
He has told the ABC's 7.30 program there needs to be discussion around co-payments.
"Commonwealth and state governments contribute 92 cents in the dollar for those treated in the public system," he said.
"Therefore, one important job of the Abbott Government is to grow the opportunity for those Australians who can afford to do so to contribute to their own healthcare costs.
"If they have a means to contribute to their own healthcare, we should be embarking on a discussion about how that payment model will work.
“One important job of the Abbott Government is to grow the opportunity for those Australians who can afford to do so to contribute to their own healthcare costs. “
Peter Dutton
"I want to make sure that for argument's sake we have a discussion about you or me on reasonable incomes [and] whether we should expect to pay nothing when we go to a doctor."
There has recently been debate over a proposal to charge patients $6 to visit their general practitioner.
Lots more here:
The video makes just riveting viewing to see just how ill formed and vague the Minister’s plan is.
On ABC Radio this morning we also had this:

Abbott flags major changes to health services

Thursday 20 February 2014 7:44AM
The Abbott Government is paving the way for major changes to health services, including a possible co-payment for GP visits.
Health Minister Peter Dutton has called for a 'fearless and far reaching debate' on health spending, which he says is 'unsustainable.'
Labor is warning this means the end of universal health care in Australia.


Dr. John Dwyer
Professor of Medicine at the University of NSW and founder of the The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance
Here is the link:
Here Prof. Dwyer makes the obvious point that maybe we should reform an inefficient system to save money rather than just charge people more. The point that 29% of health costs is direct out of pocket expenses at present means we are  all paying a fair bit already.
To date all the reform  efforts (Lib and Labor) have been pretty ineffective and poorly implemented. Maybe some serious hard work towards real reform should come before asking people to pay more?
Maybe we could even have a go at getting e-Health right?
I fear we are going to see some pretty ill-considered and unwise outcomes from all this.

1 comment:

Terry Hannan said...

David, I am in total agreement with your statement "they don't have a clue". I have not seen nor heard the full discussion but have been watching this discussion closely.
With due respect to John Dwyer what are the structural reforms he believes we need? Do we hear of 'effective health e-health' that supports clinical decision making? DO we have a plan for end-user involvement-patients/nurses/doctors/pharmacists/etc-and how to meet their needs?
I could go on but how many of these 'decision makers' and 'experts' know of effective and ineffective e-health technologies that some of us have been using for more than 30 years. Recent work by John Wennberg of the Dartmouth Institute shows clear evidence that more $ into the current models of care -public/private/public & private-do NOT improve health care delivery. So a co-payment system is another Band-Aid approach that will ADD to health care costs in a multitude of ways.
Finally the % of health care costs in relationship to GDP in OECD countries is INDEPENDENT of the funding models for health care as I have described above.
If the politicians and decision maker will not listen they should at least READ about the correct models for e-health.