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The current study is an example of policy success. It is because, it has enumerated with the study that the policy proposal offered by ALP that was a universal healthcare scheme and it was appreciated by the public. However, the public opinion has been observed to change over time. In the year 1975 the Whitlam Labour Government enforced universal healthcare. This has nee implemented through the name of a scheme that is considered as Medibank and addressed the same as a public support scheme.
Do you agree with the assessment that this is an example of policy success? Why or why not? Using the following policy success assessment map to structure your answer, use evidence to support your position.
The Australia’s universal healthcare system was in action for nearly 35 years and during this time period, it is not changed or modified. The main objective of the Medicare was to make basic healthcare programs accessible to the common citizens. The Hawke government passed the legislation scheme where free treatment was available for the citizens that cannot avail healthcare services for lack of financial capabilities. As the Commonwealth had already been negotiated successfully with the state and territory government for implementation of this policy practically, the free treatment was guaranteed. The policy has been considered as a very fragile that led up to doubt its growth overtime (Boxall, 2019). However, Medicare has been considered as one of the greatest policy achievements in the words of many intellectuals. As per the concept of Wade 2014, “[I]f a popularity contest was staged for Australian government programs Medicare would walk into the final”
Based on this, it can be stated that the medical profession faced undecided where a medical community has been observed to oppose the Medibank. Several famous governing bodies have also opposed this policy to be introduced. The major institutions that have opposed this policy to be implemented are Australian Medical Association; even they performed anti-Medicare campaigns so that the policy does not come into force. However, by the efforts put by Whitlam Government, all the states and territories have been convinced in order to sign up to Medibank. However, from the year 1975 October, Medibank was successfully implemented. Interestingly, the Fraser-led Coalition Government was elected in the December 1976, though it opposed the Medibank before coming into the seat, it has promised to maintain the bank.
An explanation for this was there are several plainly popular individual that were introduced with the policy and opposing the Medibank implementing the political policy assessment. This assessment structure provides understanding upon the support provided by political coalition upon the value of the policy and its proposition. Medicare can be considered as a basis of Australian Healthcare System that covers different costs associated with healthcare. The services areas where the Medicare does not support the low income group of Australia are ambulance services, out of hospital services such as physiotherapy, dental, contact lenses, glasses and hearing aids.
Using the policy success assessment map, it can be stated that the processes under a policy helps to deliberate the though consideration of the values and the interests. It may include hierarchical objectives and goals, the mixture of the instruments used in the policy, arrangements by the institutions and the necessary capabilities for implementing the policy as well. The process assessment regime where thoughtfulness and fair means of making the policy has been highlighted can be considered. Medicare received overwhelming support from the public for whom this was developed. It has been observed that the policy has been modified enough and developed in different manner in order to meet the general needs of the public. It was also aided with mechanism for controlling the medical costs that led to success. Therefore, this indicates toward a majorly value-propositioned service care from the government concerned for general public.
The Medicare policy, when it came to the point of implementation faced many dynamic situations. Dispute has been started even when the policy was not actually implemented. The medical profession felt pressurized to accept lower increase in the fees as the government’s pursuit of the restraint for the wage. The main problem that the policy faced before implementation was the change proposed to the Health Insurance Act of Commonwealth. Here, the health minister had the power to decide upon the employment contracts for the doctors in the public hospitals. The process also included putting limitation on the salaries of the health service providers and doctors. Therefore, it can be stated that though the policy was widely agreed for the public services it could not satisfy the needs of the healthcare service providers.
There was tremendous disagreement between the government and the major medical group AMP regarding the roles and duties and salaries of the health care providers. It was so strong that it led to weeklong strikes. It has been still demanded that the commonwealth is required to withdraw the changes made. Making the hospital contracts more acceptable the medical specialists in New South Wales did not accept the contracts freely. The number of resignation outnumbered 1000. However, Medicare came to be effective and nearly after 1 year of successful implementation, further concession has been made based on the relevant section of the Health Insurance Act.
This reduced the conflicts between the government and the healthcare professionals. Therefore, it can be stated that the policy has gone through several difficulties even in the process of making and implementing (Chambers et al. 2017). In this context, the policy can be considered as successful as the process through which it gone led it to grow more not only gaining support from the insurance users but also of the healthcare assistants associated with the policy implementation.
It also includes the fact that associating with the policy will enhance the political capital for the people made the policy as well. The implementation of the policy also predicted here to increase the organizational reputation and other relevant policy agencies. In the current context, it can be stated that the current Medicare policy had also faced political ups and downs. It has been indicated that the efforts made by the government to make the policy in to action was mainly enhancement of the role and reputation of the government at that time. The political coalition associated with the bank proves that the new government was not up to keep its request for implementing the policy.
Government took additional initiatives to modify the policy. A systematic and major change has been incorporated within the policy and the Medibank has been tried to be tied with private health insurance. The Fraser government lastly decided to abolish the Medibank. Therefore, Australia was left only with voluntary private insurance. It was the only developed economy that decided to abolish a Medicare funded by government (Duckett, 2018). A virtual carbon copy of Medibank has been stated to develop by Hawke Labour Government in the year 1983, when the government came into place. With the help of this government, the policy has continued to grow. Therefore, as per the policy success assessment map, it can be stated that the policy has found its way through the political ups and downs to take a place to be introduced to the public.
Some commonly accessed studies have suggested that the most common payment has been invested upon direct fee on the on the Medicare Benefit Schemes. The aspects of care delivery are not described appropriately by the nurses. The services are not also appropriately compensated by the current nursing practitioners. The analysis on the Medicare policy reveals that unsatisfactory level of repayment and duplication of the services is also existent. These have hindered the completeness of the patient care that the private practicing nursing practitioners have provided.
Studies have also compared the place of these kinds of policies in Australian and Canadian contexts. As argued by Luetjens, Mintrom & Hart (2019), The Australian Medicare system follows the structure of the Canadian Medicare scheme. However, based on some constitutional differences and power divisions along with different history, both countries differ in policy making from each others. The areas that have been found similar between the two country’s policy developments are accessibility of the clinics without fees. Though Australia has added co-instalment payment system to the policy further, the global coverage of the mandatory services was there in both if the country’s policy.
However, there are several other differences between the two nation’s health programs regardless of the facts that they are considered as Medicare or not. The government and the political parties in Australia have played various roles in making the policy to come into action. The Australian government has been observed to play reluctant in the case of expanding the Medicare scheme or Australia. However, critics also mentioned that the Medicare is mostly beneficial for the older people in Australia where they can avail residential care facility.
As per the views of Flood & Thomas (2018), there are five instruments of the policy that has been applied by the federal government which can help in traducing a set of reforms under the Australian National Mental Health Strategy (NMHS). It has been found by several authors that general improvement has been observed in the context of utilizing the policies as varieties of assessment approaches are applied. Getting back to the policy success assessment map, it can be clearly observed that political assessment shows that the policy instruments have been developed based on the current results. These policy outcomes have been used by the leaders for increasing reputation of the government. However, the differences between the countries in application of the policies are indicative of several differences between the governmental position, constitutional differences and country’s economic capacity as well.
Another component that the policy success assessment map comprises is the purposeful and valid actions addressed by programmatic assessment. According to this criteria a policy is required to be well-developed that will be empirically feasible public value proposition. It will provide beneficial social outcomes and the policy will the equitably distributed to the every individual of the society. However, in the year 1983, the Hawke Government promised to reduce inflation rate and the unemployment successfully. In this time, Australia was facing major difficulties in making the healthcare access, affordable (Preval et al. 2019). Under the Medicare national insurer will cover all the basic and medical services for the Australian citizens. Therefore, it can be stated by inferring from the current segment of discussion that the step was very inclusive and a large number of people in need could be covered under the scheme.
However, clients are required to be sent to the public hospital both in-patient and out-patient treatment in order to avail the services without any charge. It can be stated that, better value may have helped the Australian Citizens to believe in the present and the future performance of the government for ensuring greater accessibility of the affordable medical services as well. However, on the other hand, it can be stated that value was not put only by reducing the services costs required to be beard by the care users. Australians have changed their views based on the effectiveness of the policy to serve people regardless of their level of income (Faux, Wardle & Adams, 2019). Therefore, it can be stated that the policy has considered the requirements of all types of citizens of Australia.
People in Australia with low financial capabilities face difficulties to bear the costs of treatment such as for medicines, health assessments and others. Therefore, it can be stated that as the Medicare policy include all the treatment costs to be charged from the government aided trustee it is highly relievable for the Australians will low financial capabilities. However, some non-medical services have also been covered by the insurance of Medicare such as some of the dental surgical procedures and optometry. It has also been observed that the government support for different income groups differ from each others on the basis of the income level of the insurance holder. Therefore, a co-payment method has been introduced assuring better value to the people that hold different financial positions.
It also observed from the perspective of temporal assessment. Temporal assessment involves endurance of value proposition of the policy. It has been stated in this study that the policy had a high-level intent and promising nature based on its design and reason behind the designing. It consistency over the time is also has been observed to be high. With the passing time Australian felt it difficult to choose between private and governmental policies. However, in spite of several oppositions against the policy, there was still some supportive Australian representing the public opinions that led to understand actual position of the policy over time. Therefore, it can be stated that the current study has highlighted several aspects of the Medicare policy offered by the Australian government for its citizens in the year 1975.
The current study has assessed the policy from different perspectives. These perspectives include the ability of the policy to create social value and to meet the social needs. However, it has been observed from the analysis of the current study that the political view also can be put into the policy making and implementation that has been changed over time with the change in the government. It has been observed that the Hawke Government tried to place the policy in a manner that could not seem viable to the opposition parities due to which it has faced several oppositions.
However after the Fraser-led Coalition Government has been placed the policy was to be tried to be modified so that it can be implemented in association with famous private insurance companies (Sammut, Thomas & Seaton, 2016). Therefore, it can be stated that the policy has also gone through political turmoil leading the end as neutral. It was also able to provide better value to the policy holders. It can be stated that there was a thoughtful consideration of the facts associated with the current policy that made it driven by the requirements of the public and maintenance of the viability and universality.
It can be concluded from the current study that the empirical evidences regarding the policy development and implementation indicates towards success of the government. It has been identified that the policy did not change majorly to make it a fit in contemporary Australian Healthcare System. Several oppositions have been faced by this policy as when it was proposed to be implemented. However, it can be attributed to lower concern about the healthcare specialists and major focus on the public interest. However, through the path of changing the policy, it could be possible for the government of Australia to implement the policy successfully. Along with that, it can be stated that the policy has been developed based on different financial stands of public it is designed for. Therefore, it can be stated that the current study shows process success, political success, and programmatic success of the Medicare policy in the context of Australia.
Boxall, A. M. (2019). Medicare: The making and consolidation of an Australian institution. Successful Public Policy, 257. Retrieved on: 14 May 2020, from: https://www.oapen.org/download?type=document&docid=1004988#page=277
Chambers, G. M., Paul, R. C., Harris, K., Fitzgerald, O., Boothroyd, C. V., Rombauts, L., ... & Jorm, L. (2017). Assisted reproductive technology in Australia and New Zealand: cumulative live birth rates as measures of success. Medical Journal of Australia, 207(3), 114-118. Retrieved on: 16 May 2020, from: https://www.mja.com.au/system/files/issues/207_03/10.5694mja16.01435.pdf
Duckett, S. (2018). Expanding the breadth of Medicare: learning from Australia. Health Economics, Policy and Law, 13(3-4), 344-368.
Faux, M., Wardle, J., & Adams, J. (2019). Medicare billing, law and practice: Complex, incomprehensible and beginning to unravel. Journal of law and medicine.
Flood, C. M., & Thomas, B. (2018). A successful Charter challenge to medicare? Policy options for Canadian provincial governments. Health Economics, Policy and Law, 13(3-4), 433-449.
Luetjens, J. C., Mintrom, M., & t Hart, P. (2019). Public Policy Success: Lessons From Australia and New Zealand. ANU Press. Retrieved on: 13 May 2020, from: https://www.oapen.org/download?type=document&docid=1004988
Preval, N., Ombler, J., Grimes, A., Keall, M., & Howden-Chapman, P. (2019). Government failure and success: A trans-tasman comparison of two insulation subsidy schemes. Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, 26(1), 51. Retrieved on: 16 May 2020, from: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d5b0/9b31a4acd3cd9d16f0ccc00edc15521d2949.pdf#page=53
Sammut, J., Thomas, G., & Seaton, P. (2016). Medi-vation:'health Innovation Communities' for Medicare Payment and Service Reform. Centre for Independent Studies. Retrieved on: 16 May 2020, from: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/51342395.pdf
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