Daily BulletinDaily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation
imageHealth Minister Sussan Ley has said the government's consultations did not include a co-payment or a proposal to examine one.AAP/Lukas Coch

After an extensive round of consultations with health professionals and patients, Health Minister Sussan Ley has announced that yet more work needs to be done to find solutions to Medicare’s problems.

Rather than immediate changes or budget savings, the minister said there would be a taskforce to examine the Medicare Benefits Schedule, an advisory group on primary health care, and an initiative to develop clearer rules for Medicare compliance.

The government’s proposed reforms would be “an ongoing process”, she said, with taskforces expected to report back “with key priority areas for action in late 2015”.

The focus on developing a more efficient system “meant no overall savings target had been attached to the consultation process”.

Meanwhile the pause on indexation of GP and specialist Medicare rebates will remain while the government worked to reform the system. But “as an article of good faith, I am open to a future review of the current indexation pause as work progresses to identify waste and inefficiencies”.

Ley said the government’s consultations did not include a co-payment or a proposal to examine one. The co-payment was scrapped after it was clear it would not pass the Senate and the Coalition suffered damage from a sustained doctors' campaign.

The government has appointed Professor Bruce Robinson, Dean of Sydney University’s Medical School, to head a Medical Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce. Ley said the MBS had more than 5500 services listed and not all “reflect contemporary best clinical practice”.

Former Australian Medical Association president Steve Hambleton will lead a Primary Health Care Advisory Group. It will look at how to provide better care for those with complex and chronic illnesses, innovative care and funding models, improved mental health care, and greater connection between primary health care and hospital care,

Ley said the government would work with clinical leaders, medical organisations and patient representatives on compliance rules and benchmarks. “The vast majority of medical practitioners provide quality health care, but a small number do not do the right thing in their use of Medicare.”

She said doctors and patients had raised problems from over-testing and outdated or unproven treatments to unnecessary refusals and duplication.

The overwhelming feedback she’d had during her consultations was that Medicare’s structure “no longer efficiently supported patients and practitioners to manage chronic conditions or the complex interactions between primary and acute care”.

“Basically, there’s wide agreement the Medicare system in its current form is sluggish, bloated and at high risk of long term chronic problems, and continuing to patch it up with bandaids won’t fix it,” she said.

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/ley-prescribes-more-talks-on-reform-for-sluggish-and-bloated-medicare-40581

Why the coronavirus shouldn't stand in the way of the next wage increase

arrow_forward

Seeing is believing: how media mythbusting can actually make false beliefs stronger

arrow_forward

Scott Morrison's address to the National Press Club

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

$1.8 billion boost for local government

The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government will deliver a $1.8 billion boost for road and community projects through local governments across Australia.   The package of support will help lo...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison press conference

PRIME MINISTER: This is a tough day for Australia, a very tough day. Almost 600,000 jobs have been lost, every one of them devastating for those Australians, for their families, for their commun...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

BOOST FOR BUSHFIRE RECOVERY

Local economic recovery plans will help towns and regions hit by bushfires get back on their feet as part of a new $650 million package of support from the Morrison Government.   As part of th...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

How have live chatbots turned beneficial for online businesses?

Every business these days have come up with their online models. While some people still rely on the customer service representatives to handle the queries for their company around the clock through...

Paresh Patil - avatar Paresh Patil

Which Internet Marketing techniques can boost my business?

Internet marketing can be easily defined as various internet techniques that can be used to promote a product or service to all those people who use the internet to visit various websites and social p...

Kamballa Johnson - avatar Kamballa Johnson

3 Top Tips to Hiring Long Distance Movers

Moving doesn’t need to be stressful at all. Find the right moving company to help with your relocation and the whole experience should be what you want out of the move in the first place – a new sta...

Ash Thomson - avatar Ash Thomson



News Company Media Core

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion