Whenever you take a new medicine or use a new medical device – whether it be something as simple as a painkiller or band aid, to a complex device such as a pacemaker – you may be at potential risk for a negative side-effect, or an ‘adverse event’. These unexpected and unwanted symptoms may be...
When Sally*, a young mother, was prescribed antibiotics for an illness, she began taking them straightaway according to her doctor’s instructions. She had never taken these medicines before, and when she started experiencing a persistent headache and nausea soon afterwards, she wondered if it had...
When an elderly lady visits her GP for a routine check-up, the GP notices that she’s been reading a novel while she was in the waiting room. As they talk about her health conditions, as well as her day-to-day life, her GP suggests that she join a newly established book club at her local library...
This article was first published in Croakey , a social journalism project that enables debate and investigations of health issues and policy. The idea that private health insurance is in trouble is given weight by the latest membership numbers showing a decline of 65,000, the steepest fall this...
Like any big change to behaviour in a system as complex as healthcare, the introduction of My Health Record (MHR) while offering great benefits, continues to pose complex challenges for all of us: consumers and clinicians alike. The end of the opt-out period in January in which about 10 per cent of...
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety comes at a crucial time. The poor care of many aged care residents has prompted deep concern about standards of care and about the broader issue of how care should be funded and by whom. The Consumers Health Forum supports the principle that...
This article was first published in The Sydney Morning Herald If a latter-day Bob Hawke were to introduce a universal health insurance scheme now, it would look little like the Medicare of today. It is time for Medicare II. As we farewell Hawke, the father of Medicare, at his state funeral on...
This article was first published in Croakey , a social journalism project that enables debate and investigations of health issues and policy. Two recurring concerns were raised by respondents to a recent consumer health sentiment survey conducted by the Consumers Health Forum. These concerns were...
This article was first published in The Australian Health is once again a target for billions of taxpayer dollars in election promises that may soothe but never heal community concerns. There has been no shortage of diagnoses about what ails the health system. A feature of Australia’s health policy...
For consumers who already have health insurance and for those contemplating a policy, it is important they assure themselves they are getting the most out of their health insurance arrangements. The significant changes to private health insurance beginning today are a timely prompt for consumers to...

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