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    This fiasco comes from stated Government policy – as then assembled, structured and codified by the relevant Department. The Department of Health. Clearly, it won’t work.

    Part of the process is normally a long and exhaustive series of whiteboard sessions, examining all of the downstream consequences. Either this hasn’t been done, or the resulting conflicts have been deliberately ignored for the sake of expedience.

    There are too many unanswered questions. How, for example, can they control for the impact on the Medicare safety net? This might make the Government worse off than even the article suggests.

    If it’s bad policy, which clearly it is, the role of the Department is to explain to the Government why that is the case. Then to suggest alternatives that are workable, fair and equitable.

    One might argue the politics of it, but being unworkable is a sin of its own. A sign of departmental incompetence.

    How, after seeing this mess, could Jane Halton be trusted to run Finance? Think of the consequences of this sort of myopia on issues to do with the Commonwealth’s financial structures and objectives!

  2. 2

    Limited News

    My knowledge of how policy is made under this government (relating to an unpopular high profile policy change in another area), is that policy comes from somewhere other than the department in question (who actually have expertise in the area). Whether it is treasury, finance, PM&C or the minister’s office is unclear. The absurdity is underscored by the minister’s office asking the department why a particular policy measure is being undertaken – as if the department would know – they didn’t write the policy and have no knowledge of who did! The department is then required to make up justifications for the policy. Absurd, no?

  3. 3

    bushby jane

    Bad policy. GP service cost is not the cause of the supposed high rising cost of health services from what I’ve read, I think this is all about starting the demolishing of Medicare.
    According to Joe Hockey, he lives in a (wealthy and)high bulk billing area whereas in (not so wealthy)Launceston it is hard to find a GP who bulk bills. Doesn’t add up to me.

  4. 4


    Just as an aside…
    In the 14 years I’ve lived in Sydney (again), I’m yet to come across a health practitioner that ‘bulk bills’ OR that charges anything remotely near the ‘Item’ amount considered reasonable by Medicare.

    It’s extremely difficult to tell if a GP is just being grasping (& ‘specialists’… eeek!), but Medicare certainly appears to think so!
    Lord help anyone who is under- or un-employed!


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