How do the major parties rate on Medicare? We asked 5 experts

·1-min read

Medicare has been mentioned a lot this election campaign but we’ve seen relatively few substantial policy announcements from the major parties.

Voters want improvements to Medicare and the health system. More than 13% of respondents to The Conversation’s #SetTheAgenda poll said health was one of the issues having the greatest impact on their life right now. Cost of living pressures were also a key concern.

As one respondent said, candidates should be talking about “increasing Medicare rebates to reduce gap payments” as they compete for votes, while another saw improving “rural and regional access to high quality care” as the key issue.

So what have the major parties committed to? And is this enough? We asked five experts to analyse and grade the major parties’ Medicare policies – from A for top marks to F for a failed effort.

Here are their detailed responses:



This article is republished from The Conversation is the world's leading publisher of research-based news and analysis. A unique collaboration between academics and journalists. It was written by: Jim Gillespie, University of Sydney; Lesley Russell, University of Sydney; Richard Norman, Curtin University; Rosemary V Calder, Victoria University, and Stephen Duckett, The University of Melbourne.

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Jim Gillespie receives funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Lesley Russell worked as a policy advisor on health and related issues for the federal Australian Labor Party from 2002 to 2007.

Richard Norman receives funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council, and the Medical Research Future Fund.

Rosemary V Calder has received funding from the Australian government Department of Health. She has worked for both the Coalition and Labor governments, and was head of the Office for the Status of Women under the Howard government.

Stephen Duckett does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.