Dan Harrison

Dan Harrison

Dan Harrison is Health and Indigenous Affairs Correspondent for Fairfax Media. He is based in Canberra.

What Medicare reform means for patients

On the card: Over the past decade, the amount Medicare spent on GP services has grown by about $60 per person.

Dan Harrison Australia's health spending as a proportion of GDP is less than that of the US and a number of European nations.

What the Medicare backdown means for you

Plan to cut a Medicare rebate to GPs abandoned

Dan Harrison Patients have been spared a $20 fee for short GP visits, but are likely to face higher out of pocket costs in July when other Abbott Government changes take effect.

GST on fresh food would hit poor hardest: health group

Dan Harrison Australians need incentives to eat health food - not disincentives, a health group says, as some MPs call for GST exemptions on basic food items to be reconsidered.

Abbott government failure to consult doctors about rebate changes 'really dumb'

Tony Abbott

Dan Harrison It's a brave government that picks a fight with doctors.

The five things you need to know about the Medicare changes

Dan Harrison Currently, Medicare pays a rebate of $37.05 for most consultations of up to 10 minutes. From Monday, the rebate for those consultations will be cut to $16.95.

Targeted therapies raise the number of subsidised high-priced drugs

Price: There are 61 drugs listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme that cost more than $5000 each time they are dispensed.

Dan Harrison The number of high-priced drugs being subsidised by the Commonwealth has increased as pharmaceutical companies produce more targeted therapies.

The miracle cure with a billion-dollar price tag


Dan Harrison The Commonwealth faces pressure to subsidise a new drug that has been hailed as a miracle cure for hepatitis C but carries a billion-dollar price tag.

Last-minute Medicare change evidence of Abbott government bungling, says Australian Medical Association

Generic doctor

Dan Harrison The Australian Medical Association predicts many doctors will be caught out by a change quietly made by the Abbott government two days before Christmas which will cut the Medicare rebates which apply...

Nation to be run from Queensland as Abbott goes on leave

Warren Truss

Dan Harrison The Queensland town of Maryborough will become the centre of national power this week, while National Party leader Warren Truss acts as prime minister and Tony Abbott enjoys a week off.

Health Department offers hypnotherapy, acupuncture cash to help staff quit smoking

No butts: the federal Health Department's push for a smoke-free workplace embraces costly and unproven therapies.

Dan Harrison The federal Health Department is paying for unproven therapies to help its employees to quit smoking.

Outsourcing approvals would put patients at risk, advocates say


Dan Harrison Consumer advocates say patients could be placed at risk if Australia adopts proposals to  rely more heavily on foreign regulators to determine the safety of drugs and medical devices.

First Ebola patients discharged from Australian-run Sierra Leone treatment facility

Clean bill of health: Aminata Bangura.

Dan Harrison The first patients have been successfully discharged from an Australian-run Ebola treatment facility in Sierra Leone.

GST on fresh food would make Australia sick: Health groups

fresh food

Dan Harrison Health groups have rejected a call for the GST to be applied to fresh food, warning such a change would worsen already alarming rates of obesity and chronic disease.

'Be a barista': GP fears for profession after Medicare changes

Blood pressure rising: Dr Charlotte Hespe examines a patient at Glebe Family Medical Practice.

Dan Harrison GP of 20 years Charlotte Hespe fears for the future of her profession. "Under these incentives, what junior doctor would want to come and work in primary care?" she asks.

Doctors warn of Medicare 'wrecking ball'

The Medicare office at Westfield Belconnen closed down in April, forcing clients to go elsewhere.

Dan Harrison The Australian Medical Association has likened the Abbott Government's Medicare changes to a "wrecking ball," vowing to do everything in its power to halt what it says is "an attack on small business.

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Locking up mentally ill patients on the decline

A patient in a seclusion room.

Dan Harrison The practice of seclusion – locking up mentally ill patients – is continuing to decline, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

MYEFO: Student debts to double


Matthew Knott, Dan Harrison, Judith Ireland Student debts are expected to double to over $50 billion in four years if the federal government achieves its goal of deregulating university fees and expanding federal funding.

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Sunday explainer: The impact of a doctored plan


Dan Harrison The cost of seeing a doctor is almost certainly going to rise. How did we reach this point and what is the change going to be? Dan Harrison explains

Don't aim too low on constitutional recognition of indigenous peoples, Kirstie Parker, of NCAFP, tells Tony Abbott

Concerned: Kirstie Parker.

Dan Harrison Prime Minister Tony Abbott's commitment to constitutional recognition has pleased one of indigenous Australia's leaders, but she fears he is "aiming too low".

Co-payment will hit bulk billing, AMA predicts

Dan Harrison Many medical practices will shift from bulk-billing to charging patients the full cost of their visit up front in response to the Abbott Government's proposed GP co-payment, doctors have predicted.