Aug 3, 2011

Health reform: how to get less of what may not be best for us

With so many forces driving more and more health spending, surely it’s time you set up The Less is More Institute to identify and advocate for initiatives to reduce the use of health services that are unnecessary, harmful or not good value.

Melissa Sweet

Health journalist and Croakey co-ordinator

Before we come to the latest COAG health reform agreement (the details of which are outlined at Croakey), it’s timely to consider two recent items from the medical press.

The July 22 edition of Australian Doctor led with a story stating that the rate of growth of GPs’ incomes is failing to keep pace with those of specialists.

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One thought on “Health reform: how to get less of what may not be best for us

  1. [email protected]

    I’m an Australian medical student and I recently did a placement at a large private hospital in the US. It was a real culture shock to see the way medicine is practised there, the amount of over-treatment, over-referral and futile treatment. Doctors made decisions which, if I suggested them in Australia, would evoke deep scorn from my supervisors for being stupidly wasteful. I’ve spoken with a senior Australian physician who spent a few years at a famous American university hospital. He described finding the medical culture–how it accepted and promoted over-treatment and futile treatment–to be so frustrating that he switched to research.
    I really agree with the points made in this article, but to be fair I think the US needs a “less is more” movement a lot, lot, lot more than we do.

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