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Opinion & Commentary


Opinion and Commentary contains media articles written by CIS researchers.  Communications Manager: Karla Pincott 0411 759 934

  • 'We get it already': redundant public health campaigns do little

    23 Apr 2015 | The Mandarin

    There are a few aspects of the new $26 million pro-immunisation package that are more objectionable than its bipartisan agreement would suggest. Read More

  • Anti-vaxxer crackdown a hammer in want of a nail

    14 Apr 2015 | ABC The Drum

    In spite of being a strong supporter of vaccination, I find some issues with this new policy. Read More

  • Doctor, charge what you dare

    24 Mar 2015 | The Australian

    Rather than flogging the dead horse of the GP co-payment, the government could have avoided this embarrassment by leaving the responsibility of patient cost sharing to the marketplace.   Read More

  • Close hospitals to treat more patients

    03 Mar 2015 | Adelaide Advertiser

    This may sound strange, but the way to get more hospital care and reduce waiting times is to close down public hospitals. Read More

  • Means testing free hospital care will make Medicare sustainable

    08 Jan 2015 | The Australian

    Unless a means test is employed, and so long as the Medicare continues to offer ‘free and universal’ public hospital care paid for by taxes, consumers will have scant incentive to take out private... Read More

  • Bill Shorten is opposing his own party's health policy

    16 Dec 2014 | Daily Telegraph

    According to Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, the revised GP co-payment represents the death of Medicare. Yet what the Abbott Government is really doing is implementing the health policy of the Hawke Labor... Read More

  • Government preventive health measures don’t add up

    26 Nov 2014 | The Australian

    Preventive has become the hottest word in healthcare. From politicians in parliament to talking heads on television, everyone seems to be saying that preventive care is the smart way to get more bang for... Read More

  • Integrating insurance with health service provision cannot cut both ways

    22 Oct 2014 | Online Opinion

    It is unusual for a large provider of medical services to assume control of a health insurance company. Read More

  • Singapore has the right prescription

    28 Jul 2014 | The Australian

    Individuals should be allowed to opt out of Medicare and assume more responsibility for funding their own healthcare. Read More

  • There are no free meals in the public hospital system

    11 Jun 2014 | The Canberra Times

    The idea that health services are "free"  in public hospitals is patently false. Read More

  • Critics of a modest GP co-payment should get over it, healthcare has never been free

    31 May 2014 | The Australian

    The cost of Medicare is increasing because health services are usually consumed without user charges, but healthcare never was and never will be "free". Read More

  • Keeping the cuts in the family

    14 May 2014 | Business Spectator

    Joe Hockey’s first budget is a hesitant first step towards fiscal responsibility but the age of entitlement hasn’t ended yet. Read More

  • The madness of child protection policy in Australia

    23 Apr 2014 | Online Opinion

    In December 2013, the Abbott government announced plans to take adoption out of the 'too-hard basket' and make it easier for Australian parents to adopt children both locally and from overseas.The chief... Read More

  • Co-payment plan is no mortal blow against Medicare

    12 Mar 2014 | The Canberra Times

    A modest GP copayment needs to be seen in context and does not represent a mortal threat to Medicare. Read More

  • Health the test for fiscal prudence

    06 Mar 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    Means testing public healthcare would not deny access to medical treatment, but would encourage those of sufficient means to dip less into the common purse. Read More

  • Co-payments key to affordable healthcare system

    09 Jan 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    Scrapping the co-payment for GP services was one of the worst public policy decisions of the Keating government. Read More

  • How hospitals can cure themselves

    17 Oct 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    The key to addressing the challenges facing the health system is to boost public-sector productivity. Read More

  • We need more bang for our health dollars

    15 Oct 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Australia will face problems funding its public hospital and other publicly funded health services if cost increases continue. Read More

  • P-word may be electoral poison but we must adapt

    14 Oct 2013 | The Australian

    Australia will face problems funding the cost of Medicare if spending on public hospitals continues to grow at the same rate. Read More

  • Sick Medicare needs mending

    06 Sep 2013 | Business Spectator

    Rising healthcare costs should be a critical spending issue for Canberra. Read More

  • Only a super-style savings system now will help Medicare survive

    30 Apr 2013 | The Australian

    THE intergenerational reports have told us repeatedly that escalating government spending on health is unsustainable in an ageing Australia. But despite the warnings about the future of the health system,... Read More

  • Independent thinking for financing future

    16 Feb 2012 | Hospital and AgedCare Magazine

    Health already devours over 10 per cent of GDP each year and 70% of health funding is funnelled through federal and state government programs. Because health dollars are not spent efficiently the community... Read More

  • Focus on 'prevention' abusing kids

    09 Nov 2011 | On Line Opinion

    Despite increasing government spending on programs meant to prevent child abuse and entries into care, record numbers of children are currently in Out of Home Care (OOHC) in Australia, and this is the... Read More

  • Myths, lies and adoption

    08 Nov 2011 | The Geelong Advertiser

    IN 2009-10, 36,000 children were in out-of-home care in Australia and more than two-thirds had been there for at least two years. Many of these children will remain in out-of-home care indefinitely after... Read More

  • There's no such thing as a free healthcare system

    27 Aug 2011 | Sydney Morning Herald

    But when it comes to health, Australians spurn pragmatism and tear up the laws of economics. We shackle ourselves with a government-funded and managed health system with all the hallmarks of the former... Read More

  • Degrees of difference

    22 Aug 2011 | Online Opinion

    Many people have taken umbrage at this arguing that having a separate form for some remote communities is an example of 'positive discrimination'. Few people seem to understand the broader implications... Read More

  • Gillard misses the chance to help the disabled and define her legacy

    17 Aug 2011 | The Australian

    Gillard misses a chance for concrete reform and define her legacy Read More

  • Hospital reform looks sickly but the blame game is fit as a fiddle

    04 Aug 2011 | The Australian

    While critics claimed the approach was too hospital-centric, the primary focus on the financing of public hospital care was warranted. State governments have perennially blamed long waits for elective... Read More

  • OOHC not working for at-risk kids

    19 Jul 2011 | The Drum

    The causes of the OHHC crisis care are multifaceted. But the consensus among experts is that at the heart of the crisis is the increasing numbers of children with 'high needs' entering care because of... Read More

  • Helping mentally ill go back to work a win for all

    28 Jun 2011 | The Australian

    Unless we find a better way to keep people with mental illness in the workforce, the number of disability pensioners will balloon. Read More

  • Our Medicare Vice

    22 Mar 2011 | Open Forum

    Long waiting times for public hospital treatment in this country are almost a daily source of popular dissatisfaction. Yet few of us bother to think how this problem is related to the principles of the... Read More

  • Medicare: Australia’s very sick sacred cow

    16 Mar 2011 | The Punch

    Whether Medicare actually ‘works’ for those who most need assistance to access health services is another question altogether. Read More

  • Cure Medicare mess or waste will get worse

    16 Mar 2011 | The Australian

    We should subsidise visits to the doctor less so there is more money to spend on hospitals. Read More

  • Reform must start with Medicare

    Jeremy Sammut | 17 Dec 2010 | Australian Medicine

    If health reform is to amount to more than money shifting and rearranging the administrative deckchairs we need to address the root of the problem - Medicare itself. Read More

  • Ridicule the prescription to induce health reform

    Jeremy Sammut | 01 Dec 2010 | ABC News

    After three years of hot air from the Federal Government about fundamental health reform, which has only produced a plan for marginal changes in hospital funding and administration that will be lucky to... Read More

  • Patients, doctors could pay for Super Clinics election ‘pork’

    Jeremy Sammut | 15 Sep 2010 | Medical Observer

    The Gillard government appears set to go ahead with the electoral pork that GP Super Clinics are. Read More

  • A dose of reality: public health problems need private solutions

    Jeremy Sammut | 06 Aug 2010 | The Australian

    It is imperative to acknowledge the limits of publicly funded healthcare, says Jeremy Sammut in The Australian, 6 August 2010. Read More

  • Bandage won’t stop a haemorrhage: the government’s health shake-up

    Jeremy Sammut | 12 Jun 2010 | The Australian

    The final National Health and Hospitals Network plan doesn’t deliver on the promises of less bureaucracy, genuine activity-based funding and responsive local service delivery. Read More

  • Paying nurses to play doctor will make system sick

    Jeremy Sammut | 22 Mar 2010 | The Australian

    The Medicare reforms will only exacerbate the problems facing public hospitals. Read More

  • Whizz-bang medicine no cure for health challenges

    Jeremy Sammut | 02 Feb 2010 | ABC News

    The most interesting part of the intergenerational report 2010 is what it doesn’t say about the more serious and immediate ageing-related health challenges. Read More

  • Wasting money damages Aboriginal health

    Sara Hudson | 10 Dec 2009 | The Australian

    Public hospital reform wasn't the only issue put on the backburner at this week's Council of Australian Governments meeting in Brisbane. The Rudd government has also put off decisions about indigenous... Read More

  • It’s time for a new Medicare

    John Humphreys | 22 Oct 2009 | Online Opinion

    Thirty-five years after the Whitlam government voted for the introduction of universal health care, and following the report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission’s report, the Rudd... Read More

  • Back to better hospitals

    John R. Graham | 08 Oct 2009 | The Australian

    Policymakers need to understand that the replacement of local hospital boards with centralised command-and-control area health services has obliterated the proper governance structures that were based... Read More

  • Federal Government gets casemix wrong

    Jeremy Sammut | 19 Sep 2009 | The Australian

    A full federal hospital takeover is a political long shot regardless of whether this requires a constitutional referendum. It’s time to move the debate on and assess the government’s reform bona fides... Read More

  • Bleed bureaucracy to restore hospital health

    Jeremy Sammut | 29 Jul 2009 | The Newcastle Herald

    The recent announcement that the Hunter New England Area Health Service has cut 22 hospital beds from the Calvary Mater hospital at Waratah will come as no surprise to the emergency doctors and nurses... Read More

  • Beds not bureaucrats can ease health crisis

    Jeremy Sammut | 28 Jul 2009 | The Australian

    It’s a quarter of a century since Medicare was established but no one is celebrating. No wonder considering the critical condition of the public hospital system throughout Australia. Read More

  • There’s no real reform for health and hospitals on the horizon

    Jeremy Sammut | 20 Jun 2009 | The Australian

    Despite not many surprises being anticipated, all observers are keenly waiting for the final report of the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission to be submitted to the federal government at the... Read More

  • No radical departure in our mixed health system

    Jeremy Sammut | 19 May 2009 | The Canberra Times

    Fortunately, the Budget decision to means-test the private health insurance (PHI) rebate from next July appears to be driven by fiscal, political, and policy pragmatism rather than hackneyed health ideology... Read More

  • Prescription item No 1: dispensing with the closed shop

    David Gadiel | 15 Dec 2008 | The Canberra Times

    It’s time the self-serving pharmacy club was disbanded. Read More

  • Recession and reform are in the wind for health care

    Jeremy Sammut | 24 Nov 2008 | The Canberra Times

    While it’s hardly polite to mention the R-word, let alone to see the good that might come of a recession, it’s an ill wind that blows no good. In the wake of the global financial crisis, this certainly... Read More

  • Will Super Clinics increase the pressure on public hospitals?

    Jeremy Sammut | 26 Jun 2008 | ABC News Online

    In the 2008–09 federal budget, the Rudd government allocated $275 million to the establishment of a national network of (an initial) thirty-one GP Super Clinics. Read More

  • Funded allied health a prescription for Gen Y and

    Jeremy Sammut | 26 Jun 2008 | The Canberra Times

    ‘GP Management Plans’ were introduced by the Howard Government in 2005 and established a Medicare rebate covering chronic illness. They are meant to allow GPs to ‘coordinate’ the primary care of... Read More

  • Proof of the pudding: health campaigns don't work

    Jeremy Sammut | 09 May 2008 | ABC News Online

    There is slim support for the belief that preventive public health policies have brought obesity and lifestyle disease under control, or that they are likely to in the future. Read More

  • Rudd’s preventive health plan is a policy looking for an evidence-base

    Jeremy Sammut | 08 May 2008 | The Canberra Times

    'Evidence-based policy' might be the mantra of the Rudd Government, but its Super Clinics policy is not at all evidence based. The better description - to borrow the words of one candid public health academic... Read More

  • Health Minister gives a mixed message on binge drinking

    Jeremy Sammut | 30 Apr 2008 | The Courier Mail

    From Midnight on Saturday – the hour when party people usually emerge – the Rudd Government raised the excise tax on so-called ‘alcopops’ by 70 per cent. To justify the hike, Nicola Roxon, the... Read More

  • Lack of GPs and other great health debate myths

    Jeremy Sammut | 29 Feb 2008 | Crikey

    The prime minister and his health minister must now realise how hard is the task of ending the "blame game" over public hospitals. It has taken just three-months, and the scent of more federal funding,... Read More

  • Medicare becoming a luxury we cannot afford

    John Lee | 31 Oct 2007 | Unleashed Blog

    Medicare is becoming an anachronism. The ``free and universal'' taxpayer-funded health systems of the twentieth century were created in an age when medicine was rudimentary and inexpensive, the old died... Read More

  • Hospital ‘crisis’ signals health challenges ahead

    Jeremy Sammut | 25 Oct 2007 | The Newcastle Herald

    Pre-election promises to ‘fix’ the public hospital system count for little when politicians lack the courage to implement good policy. Read More

  • Labor focus is on the wrong health problem

    Jeremy Sammut | 08 Sep 2007 | The Newcastle Herald

    A Rudd Labor government will spend $220 million to establish "GP super clinics" in regional and outer metropolitan regions. Incentive payments are to be offered to encourage doctors and allied health professionals... Read More

  • Health policy fails to target problem

    Jeremy Sammut | 03 Sep 2007 | The Canberra Times

    The sound and fury accompanying Kevin Rudd's hospital reform plan means you might have missed the primary care initiative announced by the Federal Opposition last week. A Rudd Labor government will spend... Read More

  • Spending More on Healthcare is Good For You

    Steven Schwartz | 19 Oct 2000 | The Australian

    Australian health care spending has increased in real terms every year since Medicare was introduced. Rationing, exemplified by the current freeze on elective surgery in Victoria’s public hospitals,... Read More