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Australian public policyProgressive ideas in the neo-liberal ascendency$
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Chris Miller and Lionel Orchard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447312673

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447312673.001.0001

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The accidental logic of health policy in Australia

The accidental logic of health policy in Australia

Chapter:
(p.187) Eleven The accidental logic of health policy in Australia
Source:
Australian public policy
Author(s):

Fran Baum

Judith Dwyer

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447312673.003.0011

This chapter argues that contemporary health policy in Australia is shaped by its response to three fundamental challenges: how to maximise health outcomes; how to ensure equity in access to health care; and how to operate an effective health care delivery system within constrained resources. The chapter describes how health policy continues to be conducted as a ‘strife of interests’, involving powerful professional and industry groups. It argues that Medicare (universal public health insurance scheme) remains as one of the strengths of the health system, providing affordable and effective care for most Australians. Health inequities remain and these reflect the distribution of the social determinants of health, including access to health care. For the future special efforts need to be made to close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, strengthen primary health care and reshape health care delivery so that it can be sustainable, efficient and effective.

Keywords:   health policy, Medicare, indigenous health, health equity, social determinants of health

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