Entries by YeeHar

3 Reasons why Medicines Shortages will continue

Mandatory reporting of medicine shortages† from 1 January this year has seen new notifications to the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) increase by over 400% (n=1,455 for 2018-19) compared to the previous period (n=274).  Currently, over 10% of the drugs on the TGA ‘list’ are classified as critical with the potential to have a life-threatening […]

The PBS goes to Canada

Taxpayer funded national programs providing universal access to prescription drugs are longstanding policy in Australia, NZ and UK. Considering the establishment of a similar program in Canada, where largely private province-based schemes* currently operate, presents an opportunity to consider what is lost when these programs are the sole focus of pharmaceutical policy. Advocates of such […]

The fate of ‘fee for service’ GP visits

‘Without structural change to the way in which health care is delivered and financed, the Australian health care system will continue to struggle to meet contemporary needs and expectations of its citizens.‘ Mitchell Institute Policy Issues Paper ‘Australian Health Services: Too complex to navigate’ February 2019 SIMPLIFICATION REQUIRED An analysis of previous reviews of Australia’s […]

Death, be not proud

The release of Australian mortality data by the AIHW brings to mind Donne’s sonnet, although causes of death are no longer the ‘kings and desperate men‘ attributed in c.1610. In 2017, there were 160,909 deaths registered in Australia, 66% among people aged 75 or over (60% males and 73% females). The median age at death […]

In defence of Private Health Insurance?

Having been hit by the proverbial bus (#), although in my case, it was a toboggan, my recent encounter with the Australian healthcare system has left me in awe! From the impromptu consultation with a holidaying ER specialist; the ordered chaos of the Perisher Valley Medical Centre; the administrative whiz at the Sydney rooms who […]

Should you go private?

The 44.5% of Australians who have private health insurance (PHI) for hospital treatment can choose to use that insurance to completely or partially fund their stay in a public or private hospital.  When should a Medicare card holder, eligible for free treatment as a public patient in a public hospital, who also has PHI hospital […]

After the vote …

Whoever takes on the mantle of Health Minister in the 46th Federal Parliament will have a full reform agenda to prosecute. The return of the incumbent LNP means Budget 2019/20, as presented in early April, should be rolled out. In terms of health, the focus was on continuing initiatives to progress the four pillars* of the Coalition’s […]

Global epidemic?

The statistic is startling: between 2018 and 2040, global cancer mortality will increase by 63% due to demographic changes alone. The bulk of this impact is projected to be experienced by low and middle income countries as their, generally much larger,  populations age and economic development moves the cancer mix profile closer to those observed in […]

Survival by cancer stage at diagnosis

Cancer Australia continues to develop the National Cancer Control Indicators (NCCI) resource with a new data release presenting population-level national data on relative survival by stage at diagnosis for the 5-year period 2011-2016 for Australia’s highest incidence cancers. The data is available by age, gender, socioeconomic status (SES) and location. The findings confirm that outcomes for […]

The State of Play

At the time of federation in 1901, health was not a public policy topic. The new Australian Constitution granted the Commonwealth responsibility for quarantine, under s 51(ix) and for ‘invalid and old age pensions’ under s 51(xxiii). However, by 1945 the situation had changed, with health firmly on the political agenda. Consolidation of the welfare state principle […]