Medicare to undergo revamp

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The Federal Government announced yesterday that the efficiency and value of every subsidised test, treatment and procedure will be investigated in a review designed to revamp the Medicare system and free up money for use elsewhere in the healthcare budget

According to Minister for Health Sussan Ley, many Medicare items are no longer used or were found to be used inappropriately. “Patching it up with bandaids is not a solution”, she said during the announcement of the decision.

Ms Ley said, “The Medicare system is sluggish, bloated and at high risk of long-term chronic problems.” Last year the Government paid out $20 billion on more than 350 million Medicare services.

According to research from leading academics, there are at least 150 ineffective, expensive or outdated Medicare-funded items. Associate Professor Adam Elshaug from Sydney University stressed the importance of reducing inappropriate tests and procedures to deliver better healthcare for Australians.

“It’s also ensuring we save those dollars and those dollars can be allocated elsewhere in the healthcare budget”, Mr Elshaug said.

In addition to the overhaul, the Government made it clear there would be no GP co-payment and that there were no plans to introduce one.

Read more at ABC.net.au.        

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Written by ameliath

70 Comments

Total Comments: 70
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    Given this Government’s record of lies and deceit can their statement on improving Medicare be taken at face value?
    The LNP in the past have been quite obvious about dismantling Medicare and they are of course supported, or driven by, The Institute of Public Affairs with their extreme right wind agenda.

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      What is Shortens ideas on Medibank oh” thats right he hasn”t got any /

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      More than likely Shorten will borrow the same ideas that his mates the Liberals adopt . Flog the failed overseas ones. The changes to welfare are mirror image of the changes that were implemented in the UK. The reality is having sold off the farm all sides of politics are bereft of genuine ideas and reform.

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      Earth calling Tom Tank, Earth calling Tom Tank……..mmmmm, must be blind and deaf to commonsense

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      ROBO, we had enough of you yesterday stirring the pot up to boiling point………Liberal Party is in also wake up as their going to cause a lot of damage with health system

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      Hey tia-maria I obviously got you going I hope you are not one of those freeloader pensioners that I talk about, or worst still a leftie.

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      When I went to work you joined a medical fund or paid out your self if you were working and earning money, Only the aged and poor got help with medical bills and hospitals. Back to the old days would certainly give the Gov some money.

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      ROBO, first mate its all about your attitude and next everyone is entitle to one opinions……………Did you get me going?? NO ?.. but your attitude shows me you have no respect for anyone but your own opinions ………..cheers

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      I have respect for those who earn it and of course we are all entitled to our own opinion and I am sure I differ from you in nearly every thing, but thats life.
      Have a good weekend and we will see what next week brings

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      Nice to read that Reeper has nothing to contribute but personal attack. It is a pity some people never grow up, probably because they never have to face the reality of life.

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      Tom Tank you hit the nail on the head mate

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      Sum 1: Neither the Coalition or Labor are much better than each other.
      When you keep blaming Labor for their six years it would be advisable to look at the 2008 TREASURY REPORT and also the IMF Reports that said the HOWARD Government was the biggest wasting government we ever had!
      In the 2008 Treasury report it stated that the Howard Government blew/wasted $314 Billion, nearly 1/3rd of a Trillion Dollars – 94% of a $340 Billion China/Economic Windfall buying votes with its Tax Cuts; Baby Bonuses etc. in the 2.5 years from the 2004/2005 budget until 2007.
      This waste equates to over 1/3rd of Billion Dollars each and every day for 2.5 years and we didn’t have a single thing to show for it.
      It cost us dearly in crumbling infrastructure, a dysfunctional health system (Federal share of health fell from 50% to 41% leaving the States to pick up the difference); aged care, land care, education, Murray River, homelessness (entire families) increased 17% in the Howard government, despite the “Rivers of Gold” pouring into Treasury.
      The Howard Government left Labor no option but to borrow to stave off the GFC because the Coalition wasted 1/3rd of the Trillion Dollars in their last 2.5 years in office. And, nothing was done about a Paid Parental Leave Scheme in that reign, or an NDIS, or an NBN.
      It depends which way you present figures as to debt/deficit etc. but if you are going to blame Labor for everything, as usual, Labor had to do the Coalitions job for them, i.e. start the re-building.
      I know one particular poster on this site always indicates the Coalition has to clean up and reduce debt after Labor, but sometimes the rhetoric is distorted somewhat.
      Why have the voters kept changing from these two major parties since just about forever? Maybe its because neither one of them has all the answers.
      The voter is fairly astute and they know when its time to change.

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    I would be asking the questions ‘How often and at what total cost have the outdated expensive items been used in the last 12 months’ Bet you would find that most haven’t been used for years! Sounds like a lot of smoke and mirrors to me1

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      All I know is, this government is not going to be doing the people any favours. Let them call it what they like. It will mean a higher cost of living especially for those who can least afford it.

      I call it The Dilution of Medicare.

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      Same old rhetoric from Hockey this morning on tv. So yes you can expect it to come back in some form.

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      Jen and Kato, your right about this government……… they promise the earth to gain power……….Now the down falls with come at high cost to our health system and next Baird will sell off our Public Hospitals to the highest bidder………

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      Don’t forget the water supply is going to ‘need’ privatising for best cost-effectiveness at your expense. I understand Ganges River Spring Water (Imported from India) has certain health qualities…

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      One of the first things mentioned was blood glucose test strips for diabetics. They want rid of them and to only do three monthly blood tests. All the research proves that daily frequent testing leads to improved management. That leads to many people not needing any medication at all. It’s a cost cutting exercise.

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      One of the first things mentioned was blood glucose test strips for diabetics. They want rid of them and to only do three monthly blood tests. All the research proves that daily frequent testing leads to improved management. That leads to many people not needing any medication at all. It’s a cost cutting exercise.

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    Ms Ley said the system is sluggish, bloated and at high risk of long-term chronic problems.”
    She just nailed the chronic Illness that is the political system in Australia.

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    Medicare is itself in need of help; those who doubt that are probably still struggling to believe the world isn’t flat. It is a system which came under abuse by users and providers from day one, and barely a month passes that someone isn’t facing prosecution for that abuse.
    The system has self-bloated and those that rort it have made a good system into a nightmare which can’t cover it’s own running costs. There are only two solutions; increase user payment or, clean the whole system out. We all saw the tantrums which ensued when that horrible Tony Abbott suggested users pay a tiny bit more so a good clean out is the only answer. Now, we are seeing the usual idiots complaing about that! What we aren’t seeing from these people are alternatives.
    What do people expect? You want affordable health care but you don’t want to pay for it, you don’t want all the crud cleaned out from the system to make it more affordable, but you offer no alternatives. If Medicare isn’t improved then there will be no health care within the means of most Australians….. but a lot of you obviously don’t care!

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      Couldn’t agree with you more reeper. She should be starting the clean out at the top end. The medical providers. And while she is at it sort out that dogs breakfast called private health for never has there been a bigger rort.

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      If we look at the reality of super tax subsidies and how that turned out to be another way of letting the mates have a huge handful of taxpayers’ money legitimately – I’d say the Medicare system has some high end freeloaders to cope with……..

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      We’ve got affordable quality healthcare. The only issue is this govt wants to prop up its rich mates and themselves at the expense of the rest of us. I truly hope you never get a serious illness – will that make you a freeloader too?

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    Kato Said: She just nailed the chronic Illness that is the political system in Australia.

    How true

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    Tom. When you were given a reduction in pocket money as a kid, did you go and blow the lot on rubbish? Think a bit before you unleash those socialistic views. Maybe you can blame the successful for being wealthy. That’s another old bleat from the “bleaters”. Tom, wake up mate. Labor left us almost without pocket money, and are now cutting holes in the kids pockets with negative attitudes. What would YOU do ?

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      That’s nonsense Oars and you know it. Australia was in one of the best fiscal positions of any country in the world at the last election. But if you say it was bad then, then it’s 10 times worse now. And if Tom’s views are to be sneered at as “socialist views” then yours are teaparty views. Ridiculous.

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      I am afraid Oars that if you think my views are Socialistic you have just clearly established your ignorance of such matters.

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      So you two “sidestepers”. Answer the question. What would YOU TWO DO if they cut YOUR pocket money. Forget the bleating bigotry. As for the Labor party being the reason for Oz to be in good shape- please read back through the MINING BOOM THEN. The Miners gave OPZ the high credit rating- then labor spent it all up and left a DEBT. Remember ??? I sure as hell do. and so do most realistic (unbiased) people. So there- I’m back- with facts not bigotry.

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      Howard spent it in advance.

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    There’s really nothing much to discuss with this at present. The review has not commenced yet. It would be more appropriate if Ms. Ley and her panel of advisers put forth what exactly their intentions are to revamp Medicare. At the same time the overall picture should involve the Private Health sector as well. Ever since Howard got thousands of people to partake of it, it has just gone up and up in its insurance costs. Now, with the last increase, people are wanting to get out of it, but because of the penalties involved to do so, they are stuck in it and really can’t afford it, many pensioners in private health definitely must wonder how much longer they can afford it. If they want to cut something out they should stop the “freeze” on the rebates to doctors/patients. When this was done in the 90’s it caused many doctors to stop bulk billing. This will happen again. People will not be able to afford to visit the doctor and then their health problems will mushroom, causing more costs to Medicare.
    Anyhow, it will be interesting to see what the “cut/slash” entails and we can have a good whinge then.

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      Surprise MITZI. (Or should I say SHOCK1 HORROR1?) I agree with you on this one. Some of our respondents go into meltdown whenever the government says it Is going to look into a review of public service procedures. Using that approach, our usual suspect respondents would equate going to see their GP for a 10 AM health check and carry on as if they were going to wind up becoming heart donors for a noon time heart transplant operation!
      But then the Shock, Horror and Mum/’s Agony headlines have always been attention grabbers and have sold millions of newspapers over the years. So the fear and panic of “Who’s going to do what horrible thing next” crops up in political debate time and time again. We will see a lot more of this sort of playing on people’s fears of the unknown future to push one sort of political agenda or another for a long time to come.

      Having said that, you just might be right in suggesting that the cost of medical services are going to rise, just like everything else, from fruit and veg to Ford Falcons since 1970 or 1980. But should we want a return to dental and medical procedures and practices as they were 45 years ago? I think not.

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    can anybody tell me why labor members like T T are allowed to to leave comments on these types of media i am sure that T T would like to go down the same track as the rudd the dud and juliar governments or should i say the gangrene party by borrowing many more billions from china and then pay it back by selling Australia to them to say thank you

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      Good comment eggles01 ,the gangrene party that is a new one to me and I like it, but we are all allowed a say I guess it is called democracy and it wouldn”t be interesting if we all barracked for the same side

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      eggles01, wait a minute I will give you a small lesson down memory lane if you like????
      BUT it was the Liberal government who changed the nursing system from working on the wards to going to University……….and bloody hell mate what stuff up that’s been…..so we cant blame Labor for everything or can we blame Liberal as saying goes……….BUT be very weary for Mr Baird will do damage to the hospitals in time and Medicare I hate to think………..TRUST no politicians

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      Ah dear me those of the Right cannot cope with an honest statement. I am not, have never been and never will be a member of any political party.
      I think for myself and base my comments on the evidence that is there for all to see. It is so true that ‘Some only see what they want to see and disregard the rest”. Thanks to Simon and Garfunkel for that little gem even if it is slightly altered.

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      eggles01 & ROBO
      TT Is allowed to express “The Facts” because this is (only just) a Free Country!
      I am certain that “Paid Plants (trolls?)” from Political Parties will – in the not too distant future, make it an offence to “Express One’s Opinion” if this opposes the “Prevailing Government Line”.
      You TWO certainly seem to object to have opposing opinions expressed.
      FIGHT THE FACTS – NOT THE MAN !!!!!

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      The issue isn’t which side of the fence people are deemed to be on that is the problem. Of course everyone is ‘entitled’ to their opinion without needing approbation from anyone else. What is not OK is the rudeness, name calling and insults that fly not only at those in public office but also directly at other contributors should they happen to disagree with the writer of them.

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      “All lies and jest,
      Still a man sees what he wants to see
      and disregards the rest”

      …. brilliant song… Paul Simon wrote it..

      I agree with KSS – let’s stick to the issues and leave the ad hominems out of it. Respect the right of others to hold a view and express it – that is why they are here.

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      I notice a disgusting habit of thoise who idealise labor- as though it supports thde worker. When the recent downturn of the economy occured ( remember you die hards it was only five years ago_ the workers lost their jobsm, yet the labor party’s Union mates has thousands of dollars. Rember the twit who used union fees to pay for pros.? Oh- I see that’s all past now. Another thing these lefties cry out when their party is caught out- and that’s pretty frequently- they defend these shockers with ” the liberal party does that too. So their logic is if you stick your head in the sand, see no wrong with your enmtrenched labor party mentality, all they have to do is spit outr vile that they brew up in their regular “hate meetings.” I have been to many, and I wanted to staple up some of those curling bottom lips. They looked like a urangatang whose just had their d*** shopped off in the mating season. Why not admit that labor rorts are shockers and try to improve the worker’s rights without blaming the “bosses”. They too are workers- they take their work to bed with them many times. By the way, the liberal party has over 50% of the primary vote, yet only 2% are from the top end of town. Get some facts before you dig further into the sand.

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    Jen ,thanks for re writing history.Thats very clever

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      Labor inherited a $30 billion credit and in 6 years turned this into a $670 billion deficit. I wonder if the average wage earner has cottoned onto this clever strategy and borrowed then squandered their way to prosperity. Jen seems to be happy with Labor putting the country into near receivership.

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      Wee Johnnie sold off the farm to get a ‘surplus’ then successive governments had no solid revenue package to derive income from – now the bit is in deeply since the short-term thinking of the ‘resources boom’ has collapsed, with ore selling under the cost of production….

      Smoking Joe has doubled the deficit in less than two years.

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      Didn’t realise that Wee Johnnie ( shows your bias and churlishness) sold off the farm. What were those farm details again?
      Didn’t realise that we now owe $1340 billion.
      Didn’t realise that Labor did not receive any windfalls from the huge mining boom from 2007-2013.
      Thanx for that well researched and informative run down. Trebor.

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      The Gillard/Rudd government’s “Abbott Proofing” policy of signing Australia up to financial obligations and commitments that the incoming LNP had no choice but to honour. This accounts for the necessity for the Treasurer to raise the debt ceiling and borrow more money to honour the commitments Gillard, Rudd and Swan left as a “housewarming present” for the incoming government. Especially as they concealed the true amount of debt that Labor had run up prior to the 2013 election

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    Will they also take a good hard objective look at how specialists, in particular, totally flaunt the so called “schedule fee”??? What a joke that is, they are a law unto themselves and would be one of the greatest rorters to our health budget, but, who will get the blame and where will the cuts come from? Yes, the poor chronically ill patient!!

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      Good point – the only solution to free range charges by specialists etc is totally socialised medicine – which we do not have here in any sense… we have a middle of the road health system in perfect keeping with the principle that an effective governance is a combination of capitalism and socialism (the latter often mistaken for the dread communism)…

      So – what do we do? Impose set fees on doctors, make them state employees, or let them free range?

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