Government Policy on JobSeeker and JobKeeper Unhealthy and Economically Counterproductive -
“The Federal Government’s plan to reduce JobSeeker and JobKeeper, its previous elimination of the temporary child care support measures, and its planned tax cuts will damage the lives of many and will have little if any, positive impact on the economy,” said Dr Tim Woodruff, Acting Chair of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance. Covid kills. It affects poor people much more than the wealthy. That’s what the figures show. Poverty kills. Even relative poverty leads to poorer people suffering and dying earlier than wealthier people, whether from Covid or any other cause. That’s what the figures show. Newstart was 40% below the poverty line before Covid. As of September 24, 1.6 million JobSeeker Australians will have their income cut to 10% below the poverty line. Those people will suffer more and die younger than their wealthy fellow Australians. This is Federal Government policy. It is immoral policy. It is unhealthy policy. Every dollar these people on JobSeeker have will immediately be spent, thus regrowing the economy. Contrast that with the contemplated Federal Government proposal to give tax cuts of $2,000 to $4,000 to wealthy Australians. They all have quite adequate disposable incomes. Those tax cuts will be spent increasing their wealth in savings such as superannuation, property investment and the like. Such spending will have little or no impact on the struggling economy. Indeed it may just maintain or even exacerbate the lack of affordability of housing for those on lower incomes. Cutting taxes for the wealthy at this time is counterproductive economic policy But it is ideologically consistent with a belief that if one is lucky enough to have had the opportunity to be wealthy, whether through having the right genes, family upbringing , and/or connections, then one deserves to continue to be comfortable, come what may, and damn the rest. Questions remain. Why are mother sand babies being left ot go hungry in our cities and towns.? Why is it being left to charities and volunteers to pick up the pieces? Does our Governments have anything to say other than to call the poor a drain on society. Does Australia really want public policy which is driven by ideology, despite it being unhealthy, immoral, and economically counterproductive? , asks Dr Woodruff. “Are we really all in this together?” Dr Tim Woodruff Acting Chair 0401042619
Private health insurance reform needs a non-partisan solution - 19 Oct 2019
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today called on all political parties to work together to find solutions to the current private health insurance crisis and to develop a joint approach to the future funding of private health care in Australia.
Equity the priority for the Federal Budget - 1 Apr 2019
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today called on the Federal Government to make health equity the first priority in the health portfolio in tomorrow’s Federal Budget. AHCRA preBudget FINAL 1April2019
AHCRA supports fund holding role for ALP Health Reform Commission - 19 Feb 2019
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today welcomed the Labor Party’s commitment to reform Australia’s health system to deliver equitable and high quality health care to all Australians.
Health Budget fails prevention, equity and reform goals - 16 May 2018
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today expressed concern that the Health Budget delivers only short-term and superficial fixes and fails to address the underlying determinants of ill-health and disability which pose the most serious health threats to our community.
Consumer-centred review of Private Health Insurance - 14 Mar 2018
The Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today urged the Government to respond to growing community concern about private health insurance (PHI) by implementing a comprehensive and consumer-centred review of the role of PHI in the Australian health system.
New HW research shows universal health care under threat - 17 May 2017
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today called on the Government to investigate new figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) showing that public patients waited more than twice as long as private patients in public hospitals for elective surgery than public patients.
Time to move on from ‘drugs and doctors’ - 12 May 2017
The Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today called on the Government to move beyond its ‘drugs and doctors’ focus in the Budget to address the broader health challenges facing the Australian community.
7 Better ways to spend $7 billion – Independent Health Body - 9 May 2017
The Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today called on the Government to re-direct funding in the upcoming Budget from the $7 billion private health insurance (PHI) rebate to establish an independent health body to oversee the future of the Australian health system.
7 Better ways to spend $7 billion – Indigenous health - 8 May 2017
The Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today called on the Government to re-direct funding in the upcoming Budget from the $7 billion private health insurance (PHI) rebate to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Private Health Insurance Rebate – 7 Better ways to spend $7 billion – dental health care - 6 May 2017
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance today called on the Government to re-direct funding in the Federal Budget 2017/18 from the inefficient and inequitable $7 billion private health insurance (PHI) rebate into dental services, in order to improve the oral health and well-being of all Australians.
Better ways to spend the $7 billion private health insurance rebate – preventive and population health - 5 May 2017
The Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance today called on the Government to re-direct funding from the inefficient and inequitable private health insurance (PHI) rebate to strengthen preventive and population health efforts in the Australian health system.
7 Better ways to spend $7 billion – mental health - 4 May 2017
The Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today called on the Government to re-direct funding in the upcoming Budget from the $7 billion private health insurance (PHI) rebate to increase services for people with mental illnesses.
7 Better ways to spend $7 billion – primary health care - 3 May 2017
The Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance today called on the Government to re-direct funding from the inefficient and inequitable $7 billion private health insurance (PHI) rebate to key areas of primary health care in the Federal Budget 2017/18
Better ways to spend $7 billion - 2 May 2017
The Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today called on the Government to re-direct funding for the $7 billion private health insurance (PHI) rebate in the upcoming Budget to address key areas of inequity and under-performance.
AHCRA supports call for private health insurance review - 20 Apr 2017
The Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today supported the call from the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) for a comprehensive review of private health insurance after its role in the Australian health system was extensively criticised by a group of leading consumer advocates and health policy experts.
Is private health insurance making a fool of Australian consumers? - 31 Mar 2017
The Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today called for a national conversation on the future of private health insurance in Australia, after ten years of “above average” premium increases, ongoing erosion of benefits and rising consumer dissatisfaction.
Labour Health Summit sets the agenda - 29 Mar 2017
The Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today welcomed Labor’s response to its Health Policy Summit and called on all political parties to use the priorities identified by the Summit to further develop health policies leading up to the next Federal election.
Call for medical specialists to disclose fees - 8 Mar 2017
The Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance (AHCRA) has supported calls for specialist fees to be made public and urged the Government to consider further action to reduce medical gap payments. AHCRA is a coalition of peak health organisations working together to create a better and fairer health system for Australia’s future.
Abolish high income Medicare Levy exemptions - 2 Mar 2017
The Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance (AHCRA*) today supported abolishing the exemption from the Medicare Levy surcharge for high incomes earners with private health insurance, as proposed by the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS).
Centrelink debt recovery scheme a health risk – AHCRA - 27 Jan 2017
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) is deeply concerned about the health impacts associated with the Federal Government’s approach to recovering alleged Centrelink debts, said Chair Jennifer Doggett.
AHCRA congratulates new Minister for Health - 23 Jan 2017
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) congratulates the new Minister for Health and Sport, Greg Hunt, and looks forward to working together with him and his ministerial colleagues to improve the equity and efficiency of Australia’s health system.
A new Chair of Australian Health Care Reform Alliance – Sep 2nd
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today announced the appointment of its new Chair, Jennifer Doggett, replacing Tony McBride who has stood down after six years at the helm.
Prevention the key to better health outcomes for Australians and Government – July 26th
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA*) has strongly urged the Minister for
Health and Aged Care to focus on two key areas during the next Parliament – an investment
in prevention, and action to ensure Australia’s poorest families and individuals are not
harmed by implementation of Budget cost-cutting measures.
Whoever wins the election has to deal with this – the Tooth Hurts! – NOHA – June 30th
The National Oral Health Alliance (NOHA) has today urged all political parties to reverse
the decline in oral health services in Australia and its painful impact on many Australians.
Prioritising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health – June 15th
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance calls on all political parties to make the elimination of health inequality, discrimination and disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a Federal election priority. The landmark Redfern Statement by Indigenous leaders on the 9 June 2016 succinctly appeals to all political parties to recommit to closing the gap to meet the national goal of achieving equality in life expectancy within this generation.
While the final policy commitments of the political parties are yet to be released, the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance encourages all political parties to revisit the challenge of mental health reform. Despite improvements initiated in 2006 by Howard and Iemma, Australia’s approach to mental health has become fractured and piecemeal with unacceptable risks for people with a mental illness and their families.
“The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance remains deeply concerned that the direction of health care policy in Australia remains deeply focused on treating illness once established, rather than preventing ill health and creating healthy lives in the first place,” said Chair of AHCRA, Mr Tony McBride.
Whilst the final policy commitments of the political parties are yet to be fully released, the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance is deeply concerned about the lack of commitment of the political parties to the continuation and expansion of universal coverage for health care for all Australians.
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today welcomed the Federal Government’s proposed new approach to care for people with chronic disease.
The proposal to gradually restore the Commonwealth back towards being a 50% funder of hospitals (and the notion of enshrining this in legislation) would restore significant stability to the public hospital sector and support the States’ capacity to run a sustainable system. (The Federal Government in the 2014 Budget unilaterally cut about $57 billion out of hospital grants to the States over the coming years.)
The National Oral Health Alliance (NOHA), comprising oral health professional and broader health organisations (including AHCRA) today welcomed the launch of Australia’s second 10-year National Oral Health Plan by the COAG Health Council. However it warned that the new National Oral Health Plan “is a beautiful vehicle – but it must be given wheels” Effortlessly mixing metaphors, he added “the new Plan must be given legs through funding to make it happen, otherwise it will join the myriad of other plans sitting on government shelves gathering dust”. See oralhealth.asn.au for the full release backed by ten member organisations.
2016 Priorities in Health Care Reform for 2016
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance’s (AHCRA) Health Reform Summit is being held in Canberra on 9 February 2016. In this election year, it will focus on two high need but complex areas of the Australian health system – mental health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
Structural Changes to Mental Health – The Real Work Starts Now
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today welcomed Minister for Health, Sussan Ley’s announcements around mental health, in response to the review conducted by the National Mental Health Commission.
AHCRA submission to the Senate Inquiry into personal choice and community impact
AHCRA has strongly endorsed Public Health Association of Australia’s excellent submission. AHCRA emphasised the community does generally expect its governments to take responsibility for protecting the health and safety of the community against harmful products and activities, and to place the interests of the public’s health ahead of those of vested interests.
You can find PHAA’s submission here
Australian Health Care Reform Alliance response to primary Health Care Advisory Group
AHCRA emphasised the need to move away from reliance on fee-for-service funding and to introduce other mechanisms which would encourage multidisciplinary care, encourage more prevention and early intervention, and most critically improve equity of access and outcomes.
Australia needs vision for a national health system not despair about the sustainability of healthcare funding
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) strongly supports the AMA’s call for a clear national health strategy and a greater focus on preventive and primary care.
Budget shows health policy is drifting towards dangerous waters
This week’s Health Budget reflected the lack of a transparent and equitable Federal health policy framework. It offered a mishmash of mostly small initiatives whose value was undercut by a raft of cuts to existing services.
Calls for genuine change in mental health
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today joined the current chorus of voices to
radically restructure the mental health system.
Governments need to learn the old adage that prevention is better than cure.
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) calls on Federal and State Governments to lift their eyes perpetually from the short-term and see the value of investment in strategies which research shows will save lives, reduce illness and help prevent Australians getting sick.
Australia needs a stronger primary health care system and policy
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) is urging the Federal Government to develop a coherent national primary health care policy to guide decision-‐making in this sector nationwide. In a new position paper released today, AHCRA has urged governments to recognise that a stronger primary health care sector can increase the equity, efficiency and cost-‐effectiveness of our health care system and meet health care challenges of the future.
National Alliance urges continuing support for universal health care and equity – 27th April
A major alliance of health professional, consumer and service organisations has released a new policy document putting the case for the continuation of Australia’s universal health care policy and system.
AHCRA welcomes new Primary Health Networks but some questions remain – 14th April
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance* (AHCRA) welcomes the end of uncertainty about the new Primary Health Networks (PHNs), with the announcement of the successful bidders for 28 of the 31 PHNs. It also welcomes the continued focus on systems improvement and Aboriginal Health and Mental Health in their roles. However there are some areas of concern with the operation of what, at first glance, looks much like the old Medicare Locals on steroids.
Budget cuts to Health Flexible Funds threaten vital services
AHCRA is one of a coalition of eleven peak organisations from the health and community sectors that is calling on the Australian Government to scrap its plans to cut nearly $200 million in funding to key health initiatives from the end of the financial year.
NGOs welcome co-payment change but warn sting is still in tail
A grouping of key community, consumer and health groups have welcomed the scrapping of the Medicare co-payment by the Government and congratulate the new Minister Susan Ley on assisting the Government to see the value in doing so.
Summary of AHCRA’s position on government proposal to amend medicare payment for GP visits – Feb 2015
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA), a national alliance of 35 health professional and consumer organisations is concerned about the Federal Government’s revised health policy measures that will see GPs charging their patients (including Health Care and Pension Card holders) more for their health care.
Government still tunnelling away to undermine universal health care – Dec 2014
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) is concerned that the Federal Government’s repackaged co-payment proposal will hit consumers’ pockets just as hard as the original version, and could lead to further ‘Americanisation’ of Australian health care.
AHCRA urges Government to seek savings elsewhere, not co- payment – Aug 2014
AHCRA today backed current warnings about the risks for the Government of negotiating only with the AMA on the $7 co-payment, and called for the Federal Government to seek saving elsewhere.
AHCRA Response to the Budget – May 15th
AHCRA has distributed a media release in response to the Federal Budget. AHCRA expressed its very strong concern that the new measures are moving us away from a universal health care system, and that those on least incomes are paying the highest price.
Fair and equal access is an essential quality of our health system – April 23rd
There seems to be a real danger that decisions to be made in the forthcoming Federal Budget may result in a less equitable health system. This would be a disastrous consequence for a health system that ought to provide health care in proportion to need, not according to ability to pay.
Oral health media release – March 7th
A group of eight national health organisations (including AHCRA) have today reiterated their support for continued investment in improved dental health, particularly for children and those who rely on public dental health services.
AHCRA Response to Medicare Local Review – December 31st
AHCRA developed a submission in response to the Federal Government’s Review of Medicare Locals, highlighting that they are the only bodies with a mandate to facilitate the much needed reform of the fragmented and unevenly accessible primary health care system.
Health Policy – September 2nd
Complacent parties taking eye off the ball in health
Real Health Solutions – August 26th
Blinkered governments largely ignoring the real solutions to Australia’s health
Public Hospitals – August 21st
A safety net for the poor or a beacon of excellent health care for all?
Dental care – a priority issue for many Australians
AHCRA and seven other key health organisations have today called on the Coalition to match or improve upon the Labor Party’s commitment to children’s dental services under Medicare and increased funding for public dental services for adults. Whoever wins government, the money allocated to the Grow Up Smiling (GUS) program and to better services for the 30% of adults with the lowest incomes must be guaranteed.
‘Fair Go’ Health Funding Model Needed
Australia needs a new and fairer health funding system if we are to meet our growing need for health care and ensure equitable access for all, according to the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance.
Community needs strong say in hard decisions on health
“Hard decisions are looming for the increasingly expensive health care system in coming years and decisions cannot be left just to politicians and clinicians. Citizens needs a much stronger say in health care decisions, especially about how Australia is going to afford health care in the future,” says Mr Bo Li, spokesperson for the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance.
Blame Game: No one wants to stop it
“The widely publicised arguments between the Victorian State and Federal Governments earlier in the year about hospital funding are a clear reflection of the fact that the ‘Blame Game’ around health funding has not been addressed by supposed health reforms”, said Mr Bo Li, spokesperson for the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance.
Improvements to primary health care at risk if Medicare Locals Abolished
A coalition of 30 leading health groups, the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) is highly concerned that the Coalition’s announcement that they will review Medicare Locals may mean they are intending to scrap them after the next election.