Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Discussion Of Just What Will Happen In The Budget Regarding Health And Health IT Continues As Expected! Senate Enquiry Report Released Today.

This appeared a few days ago.

Senate committee to grill Abbott adviser over proposal for $6 fee to visit GPs

Date February 11, 2014

Dan Harrison

Health and Indigenous Affairs Correspondent

The former adviser to Tony Abbott who proposed a $6 fee to visit the doctor will be grilled by a Senate committee.
Terry Barnes, who worked for Mr Abbott when he was health minister in the Howard government, has been invited to appear before the Senate committee on the government's Commission of Audit next Tuesday.
Mr Barnes proposed the idea of a $6 co-payment to see a GP in a submission to the Commission of Audit made on behalf of the Australian Centre for Health Research, a private health think tank.
Mr Barnes calculates his proposal would generate $750 million in savings over four years through reducing unnecessary visits to the doctor and reducing incentives for doctors to overservice.
He has also suggested it may be necessary to introduce fees for emergency department presentations, to deter people from going to hospital with problems more appropriately treated by a GP.
Mr Barnes said he was ''more than happy'' to answer the committee's questions and hoped to appear in Canberra in person.
Lots more here:
 You will be able to get a transcript next week from here:
Also we had this appear:

Comment: Age of entitlement ends

03 Feb 2014
Treasurer Joe Hockey has decreed everyone must do the heavy lifting and Australia's "Age of Entitlement" is over, but does this only apply to those outside the palace?
While the nation's collective belt tightening must generate savings across every ministerial portfolio, including health and aged care, Hockey's stern paternalistic messaging on ABC Radio did not outline measures to ensure the parliament and politicians themselves bear some of the pain.
With the fiscally challenged sectors of the economy including health, aged care, education, farming defence and manufacturing, and Hockey's determination that providing life support for them is too expensive, long-term sustaining strategies are urgently required.
Slash and burn operations may save short term costs but they will realise long term expenses without alternative strategic pathways. In the January February edition of Hospital and AgedCare, I wrote an editorial suggesting that the fiscal challenges facing hospital and aged care would be helped if politicians and the bureauracy ensured greater value. It follows below.
In December last year, the treasurer trumped all previous blame games to reveal a $17 billion budget blowout, as he ripped off the previously applied bandaids off a wounded if not crippled economy.
Lots more here:
At least some of the populous is starting to get restless with all this talk.

Hundreds rally against Medicare reforms and fees for GP visits

Many Australians will not be able to afford to see a doctor and will cost the health system more, says Tanya Plibersek
  • Australian Associated Press
Hundreds of people gathered outside Sydney’s Town Hall on Saturday to protest against any moves to water down Medicare and introduce patient payments to see a bulk-billing GP.
Waving banners reading “Stop Abbott”, “Save Medicare” and “Free Universal Health Care”, the protesters called for the government to rule out any changes to Medicare.
Deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek paid tribute to the introduction of the health system, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this month.
“Before Medicare, millions of Australians used to be bankrupted,” she said.
“Medical bills were the highest cause of bankruptcy in Australia, as they still are today in the US.”
She called for the government to rule out any introduction of a GP co-payment, which would require patients to pay a suggested $6 fee for each consultation.
The rally took place just weeks after prime minister Tony Abbott dismissed as nothing more than a scare campaign claims the government was planning to introduce a fee.
Lots more here:

It looks like next week will be interesting with the Commission of Audit Senate Enquiry and just what regarding the health sector might be discussed.

Commission Of Audit Senate Enquiry - Interim Report.

Listened to the webcast of a good deal of the Senate Enquiry. The discussion was pretty predictable but with one or two contributions being fun to listen to. Most especially there was an ASU representative who said the process for the Commission of Audit was flawed because it reported to Government and that if the Government decided to form a Budget including some of the recommendations it was undemocratic. Given Parliament has to pass the Budget I struggled with that one!

You can read a transcript of the whole day here:;query=Id%3A%22committees%2Fcommsen%2Fb7627224-c545-4ff0-83ea-e4356fc92ead%2F0000%22
Here is the interim Committee Report - released today.

The report divided on political lines as expected!

We will also start to see the various organisations put in their submission for the May Budget - many of those will be asking for concessions which we can be pretty sure simply won’t happen this year!


1 comment:

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

An interesting set of reports today that might (should) give the pollies and public service mandarins food for thought.....

Privacy commissioner to investigate Immigration data breach,privacy-commissioner-to-investigate-immigration-data-breach.aspx

"Director of security firm Threat Intelligence Ty Miller said the breach may have occurred as a result of a failure in access controls, but said the data should “absolutely not” have been on the department’s web servers in the first place.

“It’s actually more common than you would think. Access controls are one of the most common and significant flaws within web applications and during penetration testing we find these things all the time,” he told iTnews."

Let's see, the PCEHR is a web application, isn't it?. It certainly is available on the web. And it does rely on access controls. And it is protected by legislation. Just like the Immigration Departmemnt's web app.

And in the UK.
Victory for privacy as NHS database is delayed.

"Controversial plans to trawl patient records from every GP surgery in England have been put on hold, amid concerns from doctors and ministers that the public have not been properly informed about how their private data will be used. The programme, which was scheduled to begin collecting the confidential information from GPs in April, will now be delayed until the autumn, NHS England has announced."

Looks like they are trying to go the education route. Seems to me rather like putting lipstick on a pig.