Talk:Medicare (Australia)

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Support of Medicare[edit]

It says in the article that it has been supported by subsequent governments. It should at least make mention of its neglect and the favouring and support offered by the current gov. to get people off medicare and onto private health insurance. Immanuel goldstein

I agree JUBALCAIN 06:01, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Was it even supported by subsequent governments, i have read that Fraser essentially scrapped the universal coverage in 81 and it wasn't fixed until Hawke was in charge. Also, the opposition didn't support it until the 96 election, up until then they had offered alternatives to medicare in their campaigns Franksenterino (talk) 16:57, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Original levy amount[edit]

This was changed recently to 99.9% which I find extremely difficult to believe, so I changed it back to 1.35% as it was in the previous edit. It might be useful to find a citation for this value though. Rakwiki 05:03, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Advert/Propaganda[edit]

This article reads like an advert for the Australian government. Medicare is not unversal but limited severly. For example every overseas Doctor, or overseas person who starts thier medical degree in australia face a 10 year prhoabition from medicare rebates. Furtter may studetnes are in bonds which may cause them to have a 12 year suspension from medicare. Medicare is a limtied system of health care coverage at best. With only *some* docotrs elgigable for the rebate.

It should read

medicare is a government (taxpayer) subisidesd health system that requires the patient to have a medicare card and the (medical)practioner to have a valid provider number. This has been ficed up.

It hasn't actually been fixed up. "Universal" could quite reasonably refer to who can access it for treatment, with nothing to do which doctors are part of the scheme. It may be possible to argue whether this is the best usage of "unviersal", but instead of doing that, the article should simply make it clear in what sense it is universal. To claim that limitations on having provider numbers is the "most notable feature" of the scheme is ridiculous. The most notable feature of the scheme is that it exists at all and gives rebates to patients. Without that context, speaking of changes the government has made barely makes sense, whether it is an important issue or not. It is definitely a mistake to focus on the limitations before explaining the scheme, and I think it is also a mistake to explain the scheme in a way that focuses on one aspect and describe other aspects simply as "different". The intro is for an overview of the scheme, explaining that it meant to provide affordable healthcare both with private doctors and in public hospitals. Once that is stated, the way that it works in each case should be explained, but the hospitals case shouldn't be simply dismissed as "different" even if it is a smaller part of the scheme. JPD (talk) 12:16, 23 January 2007 (UTC)


The hopital scheme in vert differern and there are complex state federal funding issues and forumlas somtimes varing from hospital to hospital. But even in the public hospital, the patient may need to have a docotr have a provider number toso that doctor can be paid fpr certain procedures.

"To claim that limitations on having provider numbers is the "most notable feature" of the scheme is ridiculous. The most notable feature of the scheme is that it exists at all and gives rebates to patients."

As I pointed out before, without providernmubers no rebate to anyone, you dont even have a scheme. The most naotable feature is there is a way for the rebate to be paid/remited fro the service, that *is* the foundation of the scheme. This is no a limitation but an operation of most fundemental character.

Its not universal when yo ucan only use them scheme at a very limited number of Dr's, Universal must have a unverse space to exist in...!!!

As I have already said, "universal" when applied to a health system usually doesn't say anything about how many doctors are involved in it. It may not be very effective if there are not enough doctors, but it would still be a universal health scheme if it is open to all residents. You are choosing to use "unviersal" in a different way, and may be making a valid point, but the way to deal with that is not to remove the different usages of the word "universal", but to make it clear in the article what it means.
As for provider numbers, you are backing up my point, althoguh perhaps you misunderstood me. The notable feature is not that access to provider numbers is limited in some ways, but that provider numbers, along with rebates, cards and so on, exist at all. The way the scheme works needs to be mentioned first without words like "only", which are unnecessary and do nothign other than convey a point of view, an idea of what "should" be the case. Try reading the article, not as an Australian who knows something about the scheme and what it was like 15 years ago, but as someone who knows nothing about the Australian system now or then, and comes from a country where there may be an extremely comprehensive public health system or virtually none.
The hospital scheme is very different from what? Medicare? No, it is part of Medicare. It is different from the arrangements with private practitioners. (Although, as you say, there may also need to be dealings with private practitioners while a patient is in hospital.) However, this article is not about claiming rebates for treatment by private practitioners, it is about the Medicare scheme as a whole. As a result, it should not in the introduction focus on the operation of one part of the scheme and simply say that another part is different. This may be true, but it is skewing the focus of the article. JPD (talk) 10:16, 24 January 2007 (UTC)


Countable infinintes 1 - 1 corespondance, perhaps a ssuct way to surmize the idea of universal. Your defn of univresal in misleading, as it can only bedecriped where its univeraslity is not cut back. Wiki is about the factual objective mechanics of a system, idea history etc. the injection of the word Unviersal and affordable are subjective terms. The article should be written from a factual point of view and the reader on that basis can decide if they think it is unveral, or affordable. NPOV Regardles of how asutralians or o/s see it they should be able to make up thier own minds based on the material facts, predicative adjectival language should be eschewed.

You are right that "affordable" is a subjective term, which is why I replaced the statement that it provides affordable health care with the statement that the stated purpose of the scheme is to provide affordable health care. This statement is objective, whereas a claim that it is either successful or unsuccessful in achieving that aim may not be. You are right that the it is not up to us to answer that question, but simply provide the facts. As for "universal", I have never heard anyone speak of universal health care in a way that means anything other than open to all residents. You may have a point that this may not be the best term for such a thing (although I don't understand what you are saying about countable infinites), but this is not the place to make that argument. Wikipedia should not change the terminology until it has been changed in wider usage. JPD (talk) 11:39, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Ok the countable infinteis is a reference to 1 to 1 corespondance, which mean some thing can only be universal if it has a universe to fill. In this case if medicare cards available to everyone (citizen + resident) but no doctors could acces the rebate the medicare would not be univeral. So if in anyway the govt cuts back the access to th rebated, this dergates from the universe. Bolide down as you correctly say, univeral is not the best word, it is to loaded.JUBALCAIN 23:41, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

I am wondering if Medicare is technically, not really a health insurance scheme.

It is actually statutory remitance of consolidated tax revenue for medical services. Insurance seems to have a more private nature and choice involved. Inusrance may be an acceptable shorthand way to describe the scheme...perhaps.JUBALCAIN 05:57, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

You are right that there must be some notion of a universe in order to describe something as universal. However, in the English language, the universe referred to when talking about health care is the set of all residents of geographic/political entity (see [1] for an example). You seem to think this definition is a bad idea, but until you have convinced the rest of the world to stop using it this way, it should stay on Wikipedia. If no doctors could access the rebates, the scheme would still be universal in the normal sense, it would just be useless. (By the way, countable infinites are not relevant at all, not needed for 1 to 1 correspondences or a notion of universality, which don't need to go together either.)
The logic you are using to suggest it is not a health insurance scheme seems slightly circular, but I do agree that it may not be the best way to describe, and it definitely wouldn't hurt to simply call it a "health scheme". JPD (talk) 19:33, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Yeah look I agree that health insurance has some shorthand advantages for a quick conveyance of information, I think however in may just make people treat it like American health insurance or commercial health insurance, and the australian medicare is quite adifferent animal. I would support your sugestion of health scheme as this would not hurt.

Do you feel that if you took it to the extreme and no doctors could access the rebate, then to use universal would be misleading? The way I wrote it seems to avoid the issues as it presents the mechanics of the system while avoiding potential coloured language . ( yeah the 1 -1 corresopndance was use in a very loose sence to get a concept about what i was meaning, but is does seem reasonable that a universe with no where to exist is not a universe) BTW who is "we"JUBALCAIN 21:29, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

BTW checked the link. That defn seems to agree with my positon as is predicated on the concept that the all medical service providers are in the scheme as well, Actuallay there it is in your link a 2(2), this defn requires to be able to selct your medicalservice provider of choice, and the definitions depend on each other "three essentials must be addressed simultaneously and consistently:" without this a single defintion without the other s being met, becomes meaningless (according to this links defn) JUBALCAIN 21:32, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually, no, the definitiion is not at all predicated on all providers being included in the scheme. That is the case in the scheme that document is referring to, but it quite clearly sets out definitions of the terms used as firstly: "universal", including all residents; and secondly (and separately) "single payer health scheme", a definition which claims to assure choice between all providers. It is all very good to say a good system simultaneously address "three essentials" (access, quality and affordability), but what in the world has that got to do with the definition of "universal"?
No, I don't think that if no doctors could access the rebate, "universal" would be particularly misleading, although it would probably be misleading to call it a health care scheme to start with. Universal is not coloured language, it doesn't automatically mean "good", it just describes who can access the system. It doesn't say anything about the quality of care received in the system, how many doctors there are, how long the waiting lists are or anything like that. You are trying to read too much into the word. It describes a fundamental aspect of the Medicare - that it is intended for all Australians, and to say it means more than that suggests that you are taking its actual universality for granted. I can't see a problem with the word universal unless you can find several examples of "universal health care" meaning anythign more than for all the people, and even then, it would be better to express this concept in some other way in the article rather than just removing the word "universal".
What is your problem with "intended to provide affordable health care"? All sides of politics agree that affordable health care is "the Medicare principle", even when they disagree on how the system should work to achieve this, and whether the current system does provide it. At any rate, saying "claimed to be" is very weaselly. Who claims it? Some claim it does, but all agree it is the purpose of the scheme. JPD (talk) 15:34, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Quote "three essentials must be addressed simultaneously and consistently: Access, Quality, Affordability. The Single Payer health care system promises to do all three." the first of which is Access, then 2(2)says

2(2) assures freedom to choose M.D.s, Nurse Practitioners, and other health care professionals, facilities, and services"


says And in the list of defn's include all the neccesary elements/defn. I dont why understand why you want to include the word univeral so much, it adds nothing an can be potentially misleading. I never said universal meant good, but one of its common meanings is that it covers everything (or everybody). So if no Doc could access the rebate, how would everyone be covered??? In fact how would anyone be covered, it wouldnt even be a health scheme in that respect it would be a misanoma (apart from hospital support). I think the word affordable has to many connotations. I think that can be left out entirely. It may or may not make health care more affordable. If you are going to use such a loaded word as affordable, it should be flaged by "claimed". I mean we are not herer on wiki to support h propoganada of either or both sides of politics JUBALCAIN 21:18, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I would aslo add, you may be putting to much store in a defn link, that is really nothing to do with the mechanics of medicare as it runs in australia and is not even secondary comentry material on medicare in Australia. It really has nothing to do with medicare... in Australia, I mean this is a link from mas. nurse association??? just not a good source or on point. We need to have an article that describes the operation of medicare, not the propganda of political parties, facta non verba.

We seem to disagree on the meaning of "universal health care" in the English language. I use the definition here not to say something about Medicare, but solely to counter your unfounded objections to the term by giving the first example I could find of how people define it all over the world. Since that is the topic I am discussing, it makes no difference whether my definition is from Massachussetts, London, or Australia, as long as we read it properly. Obviously I am not referring to the Massachussetts system, and their opinion that "access, quality and affordability" are essential. I am simply referring to one definition in their (separate) list of definitions. Somehow you are trying to include an aspect of the definition of "single payer health care" in the definition of "universal health care", because their system hopes to do both. That is just nonsense, but if you really don't understand that, how about the definition in the Macquarie Dictionary: universal health care (noun) a system of health care which aims to provide medical help to all who need it, without regard to their ability to pay. Nothing at all to do with how many doctors are involved in the system, or even whether the system adequately covers all who need it. This is the common meaning of "universal health care", and it is a perfectly neutral term unless you read too much into it. The meaning conveyed by that term is quite important to Medicare, as there are quite a few other approaches to health care, even government-funded health care.
"Affordable", on the other hand, is clearly subjective. However, this shouldn't stop us from observing that affordability, however fuzzy a concept that is, is the fundamental aim of the whole scheme. I agree that the scheme may or may not make health care "affordable", but it is not only used in propaganda, it is the objective of the scheme (an intention is, after all, a particular sort of claim). The wording you have put in instead is true, but doesn't add any meaning beyond what is contained in the next sentence already. Of course the article should describe the operation of Medicare, but the context of its operation is its aim. The introduction should provide this context - after all, if both the aim and the operation are described, the light is held up to the propaganda more thoroughly. JPD (talk) 11:45, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
At a basal level, inlculsion of unversal in interprative. It is much safer to put up the mecahnics of the system andrepresent how it works and let the reader decide if this is a vinveral health system. That is a much safer and more correct option. Univeral carries with it many conations. Yes but the Maq. defn is not what medicare does, remebre the gap payments etc, whcih do rely on payemts ability. in any case, it is better abd afer to let the reader decide what adjectival words should be used.

Also in the Wiki link page to Universal health care it does include "Universal health care systems involve both schemes to secure funding and the methods of actually providing for care."JUBALCAIN 22:16, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I have never heard of "universal health care" having the connotations that you ascribe to it. It may be safer to describe mechanics and not use any useful words in the opening phrase, but it is not good writing. A balance is needed, and it is safe enough to use a common (and generally non-controversial) term and then explain how it applies in this context. If your objections were anything other than ascribing meaning to a term in a way that noone else does, it would be another matter. It is of course true that the current Medicare system involves some aspects which are not universal, but that is not a reason to avoid using the word for the main part of Medicare.
I understood the intention of the (badly written) sentence you refer to to be pointing out that univerval health cares systems may involve either or both funding and methods to provide care. That is consistent with the use of the term in the article and elsewhere. JPD (talk) 13:09, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
While I agree with your definition of a universal health care system, I don't entirely agree that Medicare is one, although it is certainly intended to be. Medicare hinges around an individual having a Medicare card. (Although this is not always necessary for hospital treatments.) There are some groups of people - indigenous Australians in remote communities, homeless people, children under 15 - who do not always have access to Medicare cards. It might not be a large crack but it's enough to stop the system being truly universal. 58.107.222.229 12:32, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, meant to sign that comment but forgot to log in. Oops! Jalohones 12:34, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Every permanent resident of Australia can have access to a Medicare card and/or number, period. This includes indigenous, homeless, and children under 15. Those who don't, such as homeless, can have one arranged if they wish. Indigenous people don't even have to proof of who they are (such as ID); they just need to fill in a form which is signed by their elder or such. Kids under 15 are listed on their parents' or carer's card. Any perceived "cracks" are false. The physical card itself is not required for treatment: you just need to quote the number and expiry, which can be obtained by calling Medicare while at the doctors or hospital. — Preceding unsigned comment added by WickyUser (talkcontribs) 11:29, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

I have deleted the part where it states that the medicare rebate would have to be around 8 % to cover its expense, besides the fact that there is no citation for this percentage rate, im assuming they have simply used the fact that Australia spends approximately 8% of GDP on health care, neglecting that medicare spending is only around 60% of healthcare spending in Australia. So unless someone can come up with concrete information about the percentages i think it would be best to delete this part and not make those kind of assumptions Franksenterino (talk) 17:32, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Confusing name[edit]

I was initially confused by the article titles:
Medicare (Australia)
Medicare Australia

I do understand the reason: this one should be just 'Medicare', but needs the disambiguation in (brackets). I don't have a solution in mind, I'm just sayin'... --220.233.42.159 (talk) 07:39, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Medicare (Australia)/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Aren't specialists in the public system (outpatient services) always free. I don't think this article makes that very clear. Also, bulk billing rates have been improving for the last 4/5 years, not declining. Australia wide, 79% of GP visits are now bulk billed.

Last edited at 01:15, 14 May 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 23:35, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Medicare Australia[edit]

having two separate articles on the system and the agency that administers the system doesn't make sense to me. In fact I found it confusing. Kitten88.r (talk) 21:33, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

  • Oppose Medicare Australia administers other healthcare programs such as the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme , even though it was originally set up as the Health Insurance Commission to manage Medicare. I agree the articles could be more explicit in explaining the distinction, and a hat note would not be a bad idea here. Triptothecottage (talk) 09:59, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

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