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June 28, 2018

Private health care is not currently well regarded in some sectors of the community.  This is resulting in an increasing number of people dropping their private health insurance (PHI).  At least part of the reason for this appears to be the concern regarding a real or perceived lack of value. 

In certain, recently well described, instances this seems to be true, with huge gap payments charged to patients, and it is these stories that give private health care a bad reputation.  There are, however, many private health practitioners who I think do offer good value. 

For any meaningful discussion on this issue, it must be appreciated that health care is very expensive, and costs continue to increase.  It should also be recognised that Medicare repayments for services rendered to medical practitioners have fallen significantly behind inflation for at least the last 10 years, whilst the costs of running...

February 4, 2018

Why is a Caesarean section rate of 30% now considered normal?  And is this reasonable?  

The average Caeserean section rate in Australia is somewhere between 30 and 40%.   In the 1960s the rate was close to 5%.  So why has this significant increase, and does it has it resulted in improved outcomes in childbirth? 

My intention is not to discuss in detail the benefits or otherwise of Caesarean section, but to try and explain why that increase has occurred.  From a babys' point of view, the available evidence suggests that there is no further improvement in perinatal mortality with an increasing rate of Caesarean of over about 20%.  So the idea that an ever increasing c/s rate will continue to improve perinatal outcomes is probably not true.  But that's not to say that there are not significant potential benefits both for the mother and the baby of Caesarean section when...

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