Department of Health releases primary health care reform discussion paper

In response to the almost 17% rise in the use of Chronic Disease Management Medicare Items throughout 2013 and 2014, the Commonwealth Government has released an options discussion paper, “Better outcomes for people living Chronic and Complete Health Conditions through Primary Health Care”.

The paper considers reform options for a healthier Medicare in support of patients with complex and chronic diseases with the intention of keeping them out of hospital for as long as possible.

The Primary Health Care Advisory Group is seeking feedback on its recommendations through public consultations across Australia as well as an online survey which will remain open until 3 September 2015. Specific recommendations will be made by the end of 2015.

To view the Department of Health’s media release, click here.

News

AMA makes submission to the Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on Discrimination, Bullying, and Harassment 

The Australian Medical Association (“AMA”) has submitted a paper to the Expert Advisory Group (“EAG”), which was established by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in March this year, to examine issues of discrimination, bullying and harassment in surgery.

The paper outlines the contributing factors influencing discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in the practice of surgery and suggests potential strategies to prevent and address such behaviour.

The AMA commented that the key to lasting change is a whole-of-profession approach requiring cooperation with relevant stakeholders and leadership from members of the profession.

The AMA submission can be viewed here.

To view additional comments from the AMA (Queensland), click here.

Legislation

Medical Research Future Fund Bills pass through Senate

We previously reported on the introduction by the Commonwealth Government of legislation to establish a $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (“MRFF”).

On 12 August 2015, the legislation passed through the Senate, meaning the MRFF will be established following Royal Assent of the Bill.

Over $400 million is estimated for distribution over the next four years for medical research and medical innovation, funding of which is being taken from the Health and Hospitals Fund and the 2014-2015 savings in the health portfolio.

The Minister for Health is expected to announce the members of the Independent Expert Advisory Board to administer the fund shortly.

In a joint media release from the Treasurer, Minister for Health and Sport and Minister for Finance, the Commonwealth Government has claimed that the fund, the largest of its kind in the world, will enable game-changing medical innovations and improve the health of all Australians.

To view the joint media release, click here.

To view our previous Insight, click here.