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Article: What Reforms Are Needed To Ensure Medicare Delivers For Changing Health Needs Over The Next 40 Years?

6 Feb 2024 1:06 PM | Anonymous
This recent Croakey Health Media article highlights vital reform efforts for the Australian health system to meet current and future needs, including pressures such as the ageing population, with a strong call for universal oral health care. 

Published on Medicare's 40 year anniversary (1 February 2024), Croakey's:

"planning a year-long project – #Medicare40years – to highlight the importance of ‘learning lessons from the past and planning for the future’, to discuss a wide range of health reform issues."

Twelve organisations or people shared their views on Medicare reform and health care in the article, including Tan Nguyen, ADOHTA Life Member & NOHA Spokesperson. Tan also presented at a recent #Medicare conference hosted by Deakin University with oral health mentions by CHF CEO, Dr Elizabeth Deveny and coHealth CEO, Nicole Bartholomeusz. 

Tan shares:

"Q: What are the key lessons to learn from the history of Medicare, to inform future reform efforts?

A: Medicare has largely been driven and dominated by ‘the experts’ and the health professions. It has shown that a fit-for-purpose sustainable public health insurance model need intellectual input beyond the field of medicine, and should include consumers, health economists, and other relevant stakeholders in the conversation. The longstanding absence of essential oral healthcare within Medicare has fundamentally and negatively reinforced the separation of oral health from mainstream medicine.

Q: In another 40 years’ time, how do you envisage the health issues facing Australians?

A: It is well recognised that health is largely shaped by other social determinants, while achieving health tend to be equalised with the delivery of health services. The evidence shows us that health outcomes tend to favour consumers accessing healthcare through integrated team-based models of care. Consumer expectations are also changing, and this is important when considering the delivery of healthcare. Modes for accessing healthcare is also changing, so this should be reflected in our evolving healthcare system.

Q: In another 40 years’ time, what is on your wish list for Medicare and our health system?

A: Eventually Medicare will include essential oral healthcare so that it is universal and available for everyone. But, some people have higher oral health needs, which should be supported by the dental programs funded by the states/territories. I would also like to see flexible funding models introduced to incentivise innovation to capitalise on rapid developments in information technology such as artificial intelligence, and value-based health care payments models that reward outcomes rather than service delivery."


We invite you to read the full article here. 




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