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COVID-19 and private health insurance

The COVID-19 pandemic presents both opportunities and challenges to private health insurers, with short-term and long-term impacts and questions being raised about its role and relevance during this time. A recent report from the Australia Institute argues that restrictions on non-urgent elective surgery, applying from early April 2020, will likely result in ‘windfall’ profits for health insurers over the next six months. Read more...

New pharmacy agreement due this year

With the current community pharmacy agreement expiring on 30 June 2020, a new agreement is being negotiated. The Australian Government pays approved pharmacists to supply Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS) medicines to patients. For community pharmacists, the amount of remuneration is agreed between the Government and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (the Guild, representing the majority of pharmacy owners) and set out in successive five-year community pharmacy agreements. Read more...

Causes of death, 2018

Recently the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the 2018 Causes of Death (cat no. 3303.0) report which provided detailed information on the number and nature of deaths in Australia in 2018. According to the ABS report: In 2018, there were 158,493 registered deaths in Australia and the number one cause was Ischaemic heart disease with 17,533 deaths (11 per cent of all deaths). Even though the leading cause, the age-standardised death rate from Ischaemic heart disease has decreased by 22.4 per cent since 2009, consistent with declines in heart disease mortality observed now for more than 50 years. Read more...

International Men’s Health Week

International Men's Health Week is marked every year around the world in the middle of June. It is an important opportunity to highlight men's health and to discuss some of the more difficult subjects, including mental health and suicide. Since 2014, on average, six men have committed suicide every day in Australia. The number of men who die by intentional self-harm every year is nearly double the national road toll—2,348 suicides compared to a total of 1,225 road deaths in 2017. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in 2017, suicide ranked 10th as a leading cause of death for men (same ranking in 2008), while for women, it does not appear in the top 20 leading cause... Read more...

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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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