It is clear that the Australian healthcare system is in the first stages of a major disruption - the scale of which will be as great or greater than the impact of Medibank more than 30 years ago.
This disruption is being driven by the need to resolve the two great health challenges of our time - how to best manage chronic and complex care and avoidable hospital admissions, and who should do so.
While 30 years ago, the disruption was driven by clear Federal Government policy, today it is happening in an environment of confused, absent or complete withdrawal of government policymaking.
- Written by David Guest
The May 2014 Budget was the first of the Abbott government's and outlined a new vision for Australia's future. It was a marked departure from previous Budgets under both Labor and Liberal governments.
The Liberal Party 2013 election campaign highlighted both the economic and political failures of the minority Gillard/Rudd government. Under Tony Abbott the Liberal party ran a very disciplined campaign. Oppositions don't win elections, governments lose them. Everyone knew what a Liberal government would do. It would stop the boats, end the waste, scrap the carbon tax and there would be no new taxes.
As with previous changes of governments, the first six months was spent looking at possible ways for implementing the new Liberal policies. A number of audits and review were undertaken but very few of these were made public. When the option for reintroducing a six dollar co-payment was raised in late 2013, it seemed unlikely that it would ever be implemented. Such a scheme had been tried previously under the Hawke Labor government but had been abandoned within a few months. The money saved was insufficient for the political pain it caused.
It was with some surprise come Budget night that we were presented with a seven dollar co-payment ... but with a couple of wrinkles.