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  1. 1

    Janney Wale

    I just got my water bill and learned how the company (Yarra Valley Water) had run a diverse background citizens’ jury – 5 days over 3 months – for discussions including on finding a balance between service and prices….
    This sounds a much better option than bringing together a group of experts to solve the problem of out of pocket expenses – which as rightly said ‘they’ helped to create in the first place; and without or unlikely to have any real experiential knowledge of the hardships these can cause and the circumstances that create them

  2. 2

    Josh P

    Thankyou Jennifer for this insightful piece. “If one organisation can represent all the consumers in Australia then surely one group can represent all the doctors” – I did enjoy this line!

    Unfortunately I think your proposed committee is also somewhat unbalanced and heavily weighted towards consumer representation. The problem as I see it requires a threefold perspective; consumers, providers and funders.

    I would propose that perhaps the representation consist of 3 consumer reps, 3 provider reps and 3 funder reps (from govt, private and the not-for-profit sector). With the greatest respect to Prof Brendan Murphy, the Committee should be chaired by a senior health economist to ensure a balanced oversight while providing advice on the broader economic impacts of proposed changes.

  3. 3

    Dr Ken Harvey

    A nice article. In my experience, the views of one or two consumers are often ignored in a committee dominated by medical &/or industry vested interests. However, I suggested adding an experienced policy officer from Choice (Australian Consumers’ Association) as well as CHF. Although individual consumers can input relevant experience and good ideas than can be bamboozled &/or steamrolled by a government appointed Chair and an experienced medical association delegate.

  4. 4

    Dr Andrew Watkins

    The list on the committee includes representatives of all the main gougers – surgeons, anaesthetists, Obstetricians, Ophthalmologists ( particularly egregious ), Private Health Funds and Catholic Health.

    There is no representative for Rural/Regional GP’s, who would give a very balanced overview, particularly of the maldistribution of medical resources ( and the consequent constraints on choice )

    There is a lot to be said for your list, but it needs a few bureaucratic and economic heavy hitters, who have seen through the racket of private medicine and privatisation and who know the evidence on health economics. Think people like Stephen Duckett.

    Catholic Health run some of the largest , most expensive and most profitable private hospitals in the country, in which some of the most expensive specialists work and charge as they will. In many rural towns they have a monopoly on private hospital provision. They are very conflicted in any such enquiry.

    This is the sort of enquiry one would expect from this government and minister, who have a long track record of being beholden to powerful vested interests and a remarkably poor record on social justice and care for the disadvantaged.

    We need also to remember that the particular Minister’s key skill is the ability to smile unctuously and profess deep concern for something, while presiding over its destruction. One only needs to look at his record in Environment to be very afraid


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