Dan Harrison

Dan Harrison

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

Bookies say Tony Abbott more likely than not to face leadership challenge

Dan Harrison and Latika Bourke Punters believe it is more likely than not that Prime Minister Tony Abbott will face a leadership ballot before the next election.

Abbott's domestic violence policy re-announced to 'cover up gaffe'

Greens Senator Larissa Waters says Mr Abbott's announcement was designed to deflect attention from criticism.

Dan Harrison When Prime Minister Tony Abbott stepped up to the lectern to announce his commitment to tackle the scourge of domestic violence on Wednesday, some of his words had a familiar ring.

Constitutional recognition for indigenous Australia has had enough delays

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda.

Dan Harrison Why has the journey to constitutional recognition for indigenous Australia stalled?

Government accused of overstating health spending growth

Tony Abbott

Dan Harrison The Abbott government has been accused of exaggerating growth in healthcare spending to justify cuts to Medicare rebates.

Optometrists attack 'short-sighted' Medicare cuts

Short-sighted: Optometrists say eye health could decline as a result of Medicare cuts.

Dan Harrison More patients will pay to see an optometrist as a result of a cut to Medicare rebates, optometrists say.

Medicare reform sent back to the waiting room

Advice: Sussan Ley faces a tough job in selling the plans to cut Medicare.

Dan Harrison Will it be third time lucky for the Abbott government on Medicare, asks Dan Harrison?

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.