Should pharmacists be able to prescribe common medicines like antibiotics for UTIs? We asked 5 experts
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Fron Jackson-Webb, Deputy Editor and Senior Health Editor, Wes Mountain, Social Media + Visual Storytelling Editor
3d ago
Shutterstock Victoria is the latest state to move towards pharmacist prescribing, with Premier Daniel Andrews promising a trial allowing pharmacists to prescribe antibiotics for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and medicines for other conditions if re-elected. UTIs are common, especially among women, with half getting at least one in their lifetime. Last week the New South Wales government announced a trial allowing pharmacists to give a range of travel vaccinations and prescribe antibiotics for UTIs. And on Tuesday, the Northern Territory passed legislation to expand the role of pharmacists. Q ..read more
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The budget sounded warnings of an NDIS 'blow out' – but also set aside funds to curb costs and boost productivity
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Helen Dickinson, Professor, Public Service Research, UNSW Sydney, Dennis Petrie, Professor of Health Economics, Monash University
1M ago
In this week’s federal budget the costs of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) have been revised upwards, with average forecast growth of 14% a year over the next decade. It looks like the NDIS could cost more than A$50 billion per year within four years and could be more expensive than many other federal government social programs. But provisions have been made in the budget to identify and reduce areas of spend and improve the value for money we are getting from the scheme. Read more: NDIS plans rely on algorithms to judge need – the upcoming review should change that What will t ..read more
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What does the budget mean for Medicare, medicines, aged care and First Nations health?
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Stephen Duckett, Honorary Enterprise Professor, School of Population and Global Health, and Department of General Practice, The University of Melbourne
1M ago
Shutterstock Labor’s first health budget in almost a decade has few surprises – and that is a good thing. The budget foreshadows additional annual health and aged care spending of more than A$2.3 billion when initiatives are fully implemented in 2025–26, the end of the four-year forward estimates. The bulk of this is for policy initiatives foreshadowed in the election campaign. It should not be a surprise that governments promise one thing before an election and stick to it after, but unfortunately that has not been the case over the past decade. There are four big spending commitments in this ..read more
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The physio will see you now. Why health workers need to broaden their roles to fix the workforce crisis
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Henry Cutler, Professor and Director, Macquarie University Centre for the Health Economy, Macquarie University
3M ago
Andrik Langfield/Unsplash This article is part of The Conversation’s series looking at Labor’s jobs summit. Read the other articles in the series here. The greatest workforce challenge Australia faces is in health, an issue that will likely be with us for another decade. Shortages of health workers reduce access to care, increase waiting times and reduce patient safety. They can even increase avoidable deaths. However, we don’t need the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit to solve this problem. There is already low-hanging fruit to pick. We need to broaden the scope of practice for some health wor ..read more
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General practices are struggling. Here are 5 lessons from overseas to reform the funding system
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Peter Breadon, Program Director, Health and Aged Care, Grattan Institute
3M ago
Cesar Sampaio/Unsplash New federal Health Minister Mark Butler says primary care is “in worse shape than it’s been in the entire Medicare era” and has made it his top health priority. Primary care is any first point of contact with the health system, such as a GP clinic, dentist, or community pharmacy, but the government is likely to focus on GP clinics. A new taskforce will advise the minister on how to spend A$750 million to improve access, chronic disease management, and affordability. The taskforce has until Christmas to come up with a plan, which is a big ask given where the system is now ..read more
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Politicians live longer than the populations they represent: new research
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Philip Clarke, Professor of Health Economics, University of Oxford, An Tran-Duy, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Health Policy, The University of Melbourne, Laurence Roope, Senior Researcher, Health Economics, University of Oxford
5M ago
Joe Biden is the oldest person to be sworn in as US president. New research shows politicians are likely to live longer than the populations they represent. BiksuTong / Shutterstock In many countries, inequalities in income and wealth have been rising since the 1980s. It has been estimated that the top 1% of income earners globally earn 20% of total income. But inequality isn’t just about wealth – elite groups also have advantages over the rest of society in areas such as education and health. They also tend to live longer. Life expectancy of the top 1% of income earners in the US is almost 15 ..read more
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Mental distress is rising, especially for low-income middle-aged women. Medicare needs a major shakeup to match need
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Stephen Duckett, Honorary Enterprise Professor, School of Population and Global Health, and Department of General Practice, The University of Melbourne, Graham Meadows, Professor of Adult Psychiatry, Monash University
6M ago
Shutterstock Mental health services are poorly targeted, outcomes are getting worse, and out-of-pocket payments are increasing. The new government faces a tough challenge in improving mental health. This year marks 30 years since the first national mental health policy. The latest national mental health and suicide prevention plan is the sixth of its kind. But services are increasingly fragmented and chaotic and the number of people reporting very high psychological distress was rising even before COVID. Medicare spending and out-of-pocket mental health-care costs are increasing but those most ..read more
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Labor has a huge health agenda ahead of it. What policies should we expect?
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Stephen Duckett, Honorary Enterprise Professor, School of Population and Global Health, and Department of General Practice, The University of Melbourne
6M ago
Labor’s win in Saturday’s election heralds real change in health policy. Although Labor had a small-target strategy, with limited big spending commitments, its victory represents a value shift to a party committed to equity and Medicare, and, potentially, a style shift to a hands-on, equity-oriented health minister. Labor’s shadow health minister, Mark Butler, is expected to be the new health minister, subject to a reshuffle caused by two Labor shadow ministers losing their seats. Butler is very different from his predecessor. He was Australia’s first minister for mental health and ageing in t ..read more
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Labor's health package won't 'strengthen' Medicare unless it includes these 3 things
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Anthony Scott, Professor of Health Economics, The University of Melbourne
6M ago
“Strengthening Medicare” is one of Labor’s key election platforms. On Saturday, one week from the election, the opposition finally outlined its commitment to prop up the ailing primary care system, with a A$970m funding package. The promise of additional funding for primary care is welcome. More money is badly needed, but Labor’s plans have no detail on how this will improve health outcomes and equity of access. In order to ignite the structural health care reform we so desperately need, Labor needs to focus on three key areas: GP numbers, free access to GPs and better access to specialists. R ..read more
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Remind me, how are hospitals funded in Australia?
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Jane Hall, Professor of Health Economics and Director, Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation, University of Technology Sydney, Kees Van Gool, Health economist, University of Technology Sydney
7M ago
During elections, we usually hear calls for the government and opposition to commit to increasing funding for hospitals. While states are responsible for running hospitals, the federal government shares responsibility for paying for them. The federal government also has the primary responsibility for keeping people out of hospital – through the primary care system, which includes general practice. South Australia is the latest state to pressure both major parties to commit to greater levels of federal funding for hospitals. Past hospital funding agreements didn’t account for increasing volume ..read more
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