Entertainment Queensland Health owed $44 million from patients ineligible for Medicare
Rental stress for NT pensioners locked out of public housing because of asset limit change
Pensioner Francez Czoloszynski was knocked back from public housing because she has too much super — a rule advocates warn could prevent the elderly from retiring comfortably.Applicants face a wait time of at least half a decade for most types of public housing across the NT, so Ms Czoloszynski gathered her paperwork, ready to begin her years-long climb to the top of the wait list.
Queensland's public hospitals are owed $44 million in unpaid patient bills, primarily from Medicare-ineligible patients such as international travellers.
The debt burden has prompted the state's largest hospital and health service (HHS), Metro North, to contract out for debt collection services.
Metro North includes the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Prince Charles, Redcliffe and Caboolture hospitals, and is owed $19.2 million.
Metro South, which covers the Princess Alexandra, QEII Jubilee, Logan, Redland and Beaudesert hospitals, is owed $7.9 million.
The Gold Coast HHS is owed $5.6 million and Cairns HHS $2.6 million.
Changing the Liberal Party’s blokey culture means starting with Queensland
Former Queensland Liberal senator Sue Boyce thinks that 'pragmatism will ultimately triumph'. But it's no doubt an uphill battle.The telling figures that demonstrate the recidivist state of the Queensland LNP come from the Liberal Party itself. A Menzies Research Centre study on gender and politics published in 2020 shows that Queensland was the only state to go backwards in terms of the number of female candidates at the last federal election, while overall the national number edged up slightly.
In late 2018, The Australian reported that Queensland's Medicare-ineligible patient debt burden was just $11 million.
A NSW Auditor-General report from November 2019 found NSW Health had $64 million in unpaid medical bills and wrote off $20 million as unrecoverable.
No patient turned away
A Queensland Health spokesperson said patient care was its top priority and no-one would be turned away from a public hospital, regardless of their health insurance situation.
"Patients that do not hold Medicare entitlements are classified as Medicare ineligible and are responsible for fees that relate to their treatment in Queensland public hospitals," the spokesperson said.
For Medicare-ineligible patients, an overnight stay in a Queensland public hospital might cost upward of $2,300.
Sorghum farmers lose class action against Advanta over sale of contaminated certified seed
Farmers in NSW and Queensland have lost a legal battle with a multinational seed company over the sale of stock contaminated a weed they claimed cost them millions.About 120 sorghum growers in New South Wales and Queensland joined the class action, arguing bags of MR43 Elite sorghum seed supplied by Advanta Seeds, formerly known as Pacific Seeds, were contaminated with the seeds of a weed called shattercane.
An emergency room visit for a category one patient — meaning a life-threatening situation that requires medical attention within 2 minutes – will cost $1,378.
In Tasmania, an overnight stay could cost about $2,500, while in Victoria's Royal Melbourne Hospital an overnight stay would cost upward of $1,800.
Debt recovery contracts
Last year, Metro North went out to tender for debt recovery services at an estimated cost of $7 million.
It signed two contracts, one for $6.7 million with South Australia-based payment solutions company AusHealth Hospitals, and the other with Victorian debt collection company ICM Partnership for $190,000.
A Metro North spokesperson said Medicare-ineligible patients who did not have private insurance were advised of their likely fees and "supported to make arrangements and in navigating the complexities of the Australian health system".
"The cost of unpaid fees is significant to the Queensland taxpayer where debts are unable to be recovered," the spokesperson said.
"As a result, Metro North Health, like other hospital and health services, outsources debt recovery in instances where they do not have the jurisdiction or capability to recover money from overseas.
"This is often from travel insurance companies but may include personal recovery."
Australia has reciprocal healthcare provision agreements with 11 countries, including New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium and Sweden.
Former Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak banned for breaching the ICC anti-corruption code .
Former Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak banned for breaching the ICC anti-corruption code . Streak coached the Zimbabwe men’s team from 2009 to 2013 and 2016 to 2018 and is regarded as one of the greatest players to emerge from the country. He has admitted to five charges involving the supply of insider knowledge in exchange for payments, including bitcoins worth US $35,000 and an iPhone. Streak was also charged with introducing players - including a national captain - to people interested in obtaining information for betting purposes.