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The Australia Institute’s submission addressed the following points of the Inquiry’s terms of reference: the trend in out-of-pocket expenses; the impact of co-payments; key areas of expenditure including primary care visits, pharmaceuticals and diagnostic testing; the role of private health insurance; the effectiveness of safety nets; and other options to achieve savings for Australians and the
It’s becoming increasingly clear that Australia needs to change the way it uses energy and many of those changes will be taking place over the next decade. Our current reliance on coal is unsustainable, while Australia’s considerable reserves of unconventional gas – tight, shale and coal seam gas (CSG) – are raising controversy after being
This paper looks at how Australian governments have responded to anti-microbial resistance (AMR) since the problem became evident in the 1980s. Of particular importance in Australia’s response was the 1999 establishment of the Joint Expert Technical Advisory Committee on Antibiotic Resistance (JETACAR), which was set up to provide independent expert scientific advice on the threat
Loneliness is the disconnect felt between desired interpersonal relationships and those that one perceives they currently have. While the subjective nature of this experience makes measuring loneliness difficult, understanding loneliness is important for the development of a range of social policies. The availability of longitudinal Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey data
When sick, the doctor is the first port of call for most Australians. In 2009-10 one in five visits to a GP resulted in extra fees over and above the Medicare scheduled fee. An estimated $557 million extra were paid for these visits. While the government encourages GPs to charge the scheduled fee (known as
This paper presents the first data collected for the Measuring what Matters indicators; access to primary health care. The paper begins by presenting new data on why people say they wish to see a doctor and then reports the degree of difficulty that Australians experience as to their ability to make appointments with doctors at
As a result of climate change, the distribution of dengue and other vector-borne diseases will be affected not only in Australia but also globally so that shortages in the supply of fresh blood products could become more widespread in the future. This situation highlights the need for Australia to adopt effective national emissions targets and
We are constantly told that ‘nano’ science and technology are going to revolutionise our lives – but what does this really mean? This paper aims to introduce and engage its audience in the experiment that is nanoscale sciences and technologies, particularly from the perspectives of consumer and environmental protection and occupational health and safety. By
This paper explains why the current patchwork of media and advertising regulation is failing to prevent the premature sexualisation of Australian children. A number of improvements are proposed based on a review of current regulatory arrangements for the areas most responsible for the sexualisation of children: girls’ magazines, television and outdoor advertising, and television programs.
This report gives the first comprehensive overview of the ways in which Australian children are being sexualised by advertising and marketing from a very young age. It also describes in detail the risks children face as a result of this corporate paedophilia.
Prohibition has failed to significantly reduce illicit drug markets and has caused greater harm to society than it has saved. The evidence shows that a treatment-orientated approach to drug issues would be far more effective in reducing drug-related harm.
The private health care rebate of 30% costs the government $2.5b per year. Only 24% of households under $25,000 per year have private health care, this increases to 69% for household over $100,000 per year. Single parents, young people and poor families are the least likely to have private health care. Due to this the
Using national survey data, this paper outlines patters of loneliness, support and friendship and assesses who is most at risk of emotional and social isolation and who is socially supported and connected.
The Howard government promised to rise in the private health care rebate from 30% to 35% for people over 65 and 40% for people over 70. However between 2001 and 2004 there has been a decrease in private health insurance for people under 55 by 4.8%, while people over 55 have increased 13.7%. Prices for
The coalition’s introduced a 30% private health insurance rebate, costing $2.5 billion per annum. This policy favours urban centres as rural areas have less private hospitals; less money from the rebate going to them, on a per capita bias; and will be affected by the yearly rise in prices after the age of 30. As
Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme uses economic evaluations on the price of drugs. The US equivalent, the Federal Supply Schedule does not use such pricing references. As a result the most prescribed pharmaceutical drugs in the US can be between 79% and 306% more expensive than in Australia.
This piece uses three main statistics, to come to the conclusion that 1/3 of Australian adults have a drug dependency. Firstly The National Health Survey found that 18.1% of people have had medication in the past fortnight for mental health reasons; secondly that when coupled with the amount of Australians who partake in risky alcohol
Examines a possible trade-off the Australian Government might be tempted to make in order to achieve a Free Trade Agreement with the US.
High-income earners over $50,000 for individuals and $100, 000 for families pay a Medicare Levy Surcharge of 1 %( $500 and $1000 respectively). High-income earners can be exempted from the surcharge if they have private insurance, insurance companies exploit this and provide policies with annual costs under the respective $500 and $1000. The insurance policies
A report last year by the Allen Consulting Group has played a pivotal role in reinforcing perceptions that cutting greenhouse gases would result in large economic costs and extensive job losses, especially in regional and rural Australia. The first part of this paper exposes a number of serious errors in the Allen Consulting report on
This paper documents the development of the vertical and horizontal integration of the healthcare services sector. It argues that in the Australian context, the private (including the corporate) provision and ownership of health service facilities is more costly than public provision. The paper also demonstrates that, contrary to popular belief, competition does not necessarily benefit
This paper shows that instead of encouraging private provision, concessions for private health insurance have been a financial windfall for wealthy households. The existing cash incentives and tax rebates for private health insurance are in urgent need of reform.
This study considers the rationale for estimating tax expenditures, and the conceptual basis for measurement. It assesses the current approach to accounting for the surcharge in the TES against international practice and against the stated aims of tax expenditure reporting in Australia.
This study breaks new ground by examining how the benefits of tax concessions for health expenditures, such as the rebate for health insurance, have been distributed amongst taxpayer income groups. It shows for the first time the value of the tax relief arising from the Medicare levy surcharge for those with private health insurance.
This discussion paper is part of the Australia Institute’s work program on measuring quality of life. The Institute has formed a collaborative partnership with Newcastle City Council to build an indicator series against which the Newcastle community’s progress towards sustainability can be measured.