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Is Medicare finished?

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Medicare struggling; Australia headed towards US user-pays system

By Joe Hildebrand and Kate Sikora
The Daily Telegraph
June 03, 2009 12:01am

* Claims Australia headed towards US system
* Out of control costs to blame
* Four-day week urged for specialists

THE Australian system of free universal healthcare is set to disappear in as little as five years, prompting a radical plan for a new federal-state partnership to take control of hospitals and patient care.

It comes amid a push by the Australian Medical Association for hospital specialists to treat patients only four days a week, potentially placing further pressure on a system already hamstrung by work restrictions among emergency physicians.

In a startling warning, NSW Health director-general Debora Piccone has told The Daily Telegraph that Australia is hurtling towards a US-style user-pays system due to an ageing population and out of control costs.

"We are really on the edge of losing the universal healthcare system that this country has," she said.

More: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25580013-421,00.html

Is the Australian experiment of socialised medicine finally on its last legs? Are we really headed towards a U.S. style user pays system? Is this proof that the government, with all its shameful waste and bureaucracy, really can't and shouldn't be managing something as important as the health care of Australia's citizens?

What are your opinions about our failing health care system? :eek:
 

gav

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Before I make an opinion, I'd like to know where all the extra tax $$$ will go once Medicare ceases.
 
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I can't understand why the system isn't working. Surely it would be simple to cut out the blatant rorts (ie Doctors overcharging for work not performed, hundreds of patients each week etc.) and cut back the payments on things like IVF, which is monstrously expensive. Once we lose Medicare we'll never get anything like it back again. There must be millions of people out there popping pills that are costing the public a fortune and not really doing much for the patient. I personally know of dozens of people who go to a doctor, insist on penicillin at the slightest sign of a cold, and to shut them up and send them away the Doc prescribes the pills even though they will most likely do nothing for the cough/cold.

Only for the fact that it would be hideously unpopular in the electorate, Governments would have abolished Medicare years ago. We need to let them know that we still want it, even if things have to change.
 
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From 100,000 to 400,000 people arriving at emergency - its a big jump

Mental Health has boomed..
 
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Is this proof that the government, with all its shameful waste and bureaucracy, really can't and shouldn't be managing something as important as the health care of Australia's citizens?

No, it's proof that ideological standpoints get in the way of reforming health care. Just because you shift the costs from taxpayers to individuals doesn't mean you reduce the aggregate cost of health care in the country which is ever increasing due to chronic illness, better technologies and longer life expectancy.

The debate should really be about how to shift the focus of the health care system from acute and episodic care to preventive care. Right now we're better at treating people who have heart attacks than aiding those to prevent the heath attack in the first place.
 
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I can't understand why the system isn't working. Surely it would be simple to cut out the blatant rorts (ie Doctors overcharging for work not performed, hundreds of patients each week etc.) and cut back the payments on things like IVF, which is monstrously expensive. Once we lose Medicare we'll never get anything like it back again. There must be millions of people out there popping pills that are costing the public a fortune and not really doing much for the patient. I personally know of dozens of people who go to a doctor, insist on penicillin at the slightest sign of a cold, and to shut them up and send them away the Doc prescribes the pills even though they will most likely do nothing for the cough/cold.

Only for the fact that it would be hideously unpopular in the electorate, Governments would have abolished Medicare years ago. We need to let them know that we still want it, even if things have to change.

The whole system is screwed, but I think prescribing habits should be addressed.


drugs for reflux costing $40 per month and there are alternatives for $10 per month

drugs for cholesterol for $80 per month and there are alternatives for $40 per month

AND

pharmacist kickbacks of 30-50% of the cost of the drug to push generics. Take it off the pharmacists and plough it back into the health system.

and the drugs is only ONE of the wasteful areas, and I would suspect that there could be massive efficiency improvements of even up to 20% if prescribing habits and pharmacist kickbacks were addressed, which would probably save $1 billion per year.

so...
anyone want to take on the pharmacy guild?
 

Julia

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The debate should really be about how to shift the focus of the health care system from acute and episodic care to preventive care. Right now we're better at treating people who have heart attacks than aiding those to prevent the heath attack in the first place.
Couldn't agree more, but getting co-operation, even remote interest, from the population is the problem. Until people are prepared to accept the mass of education offered and take responsibility, the heart attacks et al will continue to happen.


so...
anyone want to take on the pharmacy guild?
Hah, not too many people. Woolworths have been trying for years without success.
 
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Before I make an opinion, I'd like to know where all the extra tax $$$ will go once Medicare ceases.

To fund the government pension and perks?

If the Medicare system goes, so should the medicare levy and surcharge at end of each tax year that you have to pay for, that will be a fair load of cash gone for the govt?

Can't pay for something you don't get?

Probably get a charge for some other govt thing, I dunno...
 
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Take all prisons off medical assistance, prescriptions, nurses and doctors in attendance at prisons.

The amount of wasted money is unbelievable.
 

prawn_86

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Take all prisons off medical assistance, prescriptions, nurses and doctors in attendance at prisons.

The amount of wasted money is unbelievable.

So in other words an prisoner should have no human rights? What about those that are in jail for minor offences? Or who are genuinely remorseful?
 

gav

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If the Medicare system goes, so should the medicare levy and surcharge at end of each tax year that you have to pay for, that will be a fair load of cash gone for the govt?

Can't pay for something you don't get?

Probably get a charge for some other govt thing, I dunno...

Exactly, which personally suits me just fine. All those with cardio vascular disease because they are obese, ppl who have problems because smoking or over consumption of alcohol can damn well pay for themselves...

I wonder how much the cost of Private Health Insurance would rise if this happened?
 
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First thing everyone should understand is Medicare will not go, it will change. The health costs are rising rapidly and in 5 years it will be unsustainable in its present form.
 
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So in other words an prisoner should have no human rights? What about those that are in jail for minor offences? Or who are genuinely remorseful?

This is why we have 'problems' - everything is so sterile, proper and 1st world. Human Rights right - lets get people in serious medical situations 1st rate immediate care. My son went through a glass door lacerated his arm and hand - it took 9 hours to see a doctor in paediatric emergency triage nurse said they where busy and he wasn't dying!! By the stage we saw a Doctor he was beside himself and had lost a fair amount of blood. I was beyond ropeable. Another 6 hours - with no pain killers - before surgery. He is Autistic -does that make him less of a human?

Genuinely remorseful mmmmm and that would be?

They can fake remorse better than most actors

I have a client, a thalidomide child no legs, she can not afford the medication, she is 70 years old and actually WORKS for $1.80 hr (government min award for her category) Absolute robbery. I would give her free medication any day over some idiot regardless of offence.

People die everyday for committing NO offence.

Got a mate who's an inmate?.
 
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So in other words an prisoner should have no human rights? What about those that are in jail for minor offences? Or who are genuinely remorseful?


Those genuinely remorseful I would put through lie detector first anyway.
 
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If the medicare system goes then we are all screwed... The repercussions are too big... Take a look at the United States of America... There Doctors charge what they like... My brother got bashed over there he got 6 stitches... guess how much? US$10,500.00 What a joke... These insurance companies want Medicare to go under so that they can get off the leash and run a muck... Don't let this country lose it... It was Ronald Reagan's idea to abolish the social health system... Do we want Ronald Reagan to be an influence on our great nation... The UK have full healthcare which they pay nothing for... They have heaps of work going around... We can do the same... God save the Queen, Bullocks... God save Medicare :)
 

Julia

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There's a good deal of waste in Medicare. e.g. prescriptions filled but never used and eventually thrown away. I don't know how this could be improved, i.e. the doctor prescribes what he thinks the patient needs, so acts in good faith, then the patient doesn't take it. Why do they go to Doctor in the first place?

Green, you have a point about the medical care in prisons versus your thalidomide client. It's often about who makes the most noise and who has the most 'civil rights' backing.

For some obscure reason, there are more people in our society championing the rights of criminals than those seeking to improve the lot of people with disabilities.
 
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Exactly, which personally suits me just fine. All those with cardio vascular disease because they are obese, ppl who have problems because smoking or over consumption of alcohol can damn well pay for themselves...

This is disgusting and you should be ashamed for writing such dribble... Get a heart mate... Everybody has a right to Healthcare... Tell me with all these people getting tumours from house hold products, asbestos, mobile phone towers etc. should they pay for Chemotherapy or should the people who endangered their lives in the first place? The problem is proving where the threat comes from... So the solution is providing healthcare for everyone... as soon as you start saying "she shouldn't get healthcare because she ate too many pork chops" you begin to pave the way for abolishment of the whole system... Don't fall for this trap... This is how it all started in the US...
 

Bill M

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If the Medicare system goes, so should the medicare levy and surcharge at end of each tax year that you have to pay for, that will be a fair load of cash gone for the govt?

Can't pay for something you don't get?

Probably get a charge for some other govt thing, I dunno...

I agree there, that is why I don't have private insurance, why should I pay twice and then still be out of pocket?

If the medicare system goes then we are all screwed... The repercussions are too big... Take a look at the United States of America... There Doctors charge what they like... My brother got bashed over there he got 6 stitches... guess how much? US$10,500.00 What a joke... These insurance companies want Medicare to go under so that they can get off the leash and run a muck... Don't let this country lose it... It was Ronald Reagan's idea to abolish the social health system... Do we want Ronald Reagan to be an influence on our great nation... The UK have full healthcare which they pay nothing for... They have heaps of work going around... We can do the same... God save the Queen, Bullocks... God save Medicare :)
This is too true, the UK system is very good and we experienced this first hand last year. We were in London and my wife got very ill. We went looking for a local surgery to visit a GP but on the weekends they were closed. Met a couple in the streets and asked what could we do and they directed us to the Chelsea Westminster Public Hospital. My wife was seen to by a doctor, was ex rayed and was given free drugs from that Doctor. It's been a year now and still we didn't get any bills. We should keep Medicare at all costs, why follow basket cases like the USA?
 
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