The government is considering scrapping the private health insurance rebate and requiring the states to come up with more funding for public hospitals, according to an article by Adam Gartrell in the Fairfax papers. A Health Department presentation obtained by Fairfax says the Commonwealth is considering "pooling" the "$20 billion it currently gives to public hospitals each year with the $3 billion it pays to private sector doctors and the $6 billion it spends on the rebate to help people pay their private health insurance". The government would then pay a standard amount per health service, regardless of whether the service is performed in a public or private hospital. Doctors and specialists in private hospitals would likely be paid less, and a 2015 discussion paper on the proposal describes it as "the public hospital equivalent of bulk-billing in general practice". A government spokesman was quick to throw cold water on the story, telling Sky News' Kieran Gilbert the proposal was not government policy. 


Australia's most famous drug smuggler has returned to the country 13 years after she brought 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali in her boogie board bag. Schapelle Corby left Bali Saturday night, but a last-minute airline change and a fleet of decoy cars outfoxed the waiting media. People wearing masks, believed to be Corby's friends, turned up at her mother's Loganlea home on Sunday. It is believed Corby is in hiding in a Brisbane hotel, but she is not entirely shunning the limelight -- hours before she left Bali Corby launched a new Instagram account, posting the first picture to the account of the two dogs she was leaving behind in Indonesia.