Paternalism in social policy—when is it justifiable? – Parliamentary Research Paper – 15 December 2010

Posted on January 21, 2011. Filed under: Health Mgmt Policy Planning, Health Policy | Tags: , |

Paternalism in social policy—when is it justifiable? – Parliamentary Research Paper – 15 December 2010

ISSN 1834-9854

Parliament of Australia Department of Parliamentary Services
Matthew Thomas and Luke Buckmaster  Social Policy Section

“Executive summary

Governments are increasingly called upon to introduce paternalist policies—that is, policies that  restrict the choices of individual citizens in their own interests and without their consent.

Paternalist policies are often controversial, not least because they infringe a key principle of  liberal societies; namely, that citizens are best placed to know their own interests.

While paternalist policies are often contentious, they are nevertheless ubiquitous. This suggests  that the main issue is not whether or not paternalism itself is justifiable, but rather the  conditions under which particular paternalist policies may be said to be justifiable.

This paper argues that paternalist policies may be considered justifiable under circumstances  where high stakes decisions are involved, the decisions being made by individuals are  irreversible and it is possible to identify failures in people’s reasoning. It is further argued that if  paternalist interventions are able to be justified in terms of people’s own values and  preferences, then this adds weight to their acceptability given that they do not undermine  people’s autonomy.

Relatively little scholarly attention has been devoted to the questions of what particular forms of  paternalism may be deemed to be appropriate. This paper suggests that the principles of  discrimination, proportionality, accountability and efficacy provide a framework with which to  consider the appropriateness or otherwise of various forms of paternalist intervention.”

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Marketing obesity? Junk food, advertising and kids – Parliamentary Paper – 12 January 2011

Posted on January 18, 2011. Filed under: Child Health / Paediatrics | Tags: , , |

Marketing obesity? Junk food, advertising and kids – Parliamentary Paper – 12 January 2011

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Should we expand the use of pay-for-performance in health care? – Parliamentary Library Research Paper – 23 November 2009

Posted on November 24, 2009. Filed under: Clin Governance / Risk Mgmt / Quality | Tags: , |

23 November, no. 12, 2009–10, ISSN 1834-9854
Should we expand the use of pay-for-performance in health care? – Parliamentary Library Research Paper – 23 November 2009
Dr Anne-marie Boxall
Social Policy Section    23 November, no. 12, 2009–10, ISSN 1834-9854

“Executive summary
•Governments play a vital role in driving quality improvements in health care. They use various means, but publicly reporting performance data and linking performance and financial incentives—pay-for-performance (P4P)—are two common ones.
•P4P is used extensively in health care in some countries, for example the US and UK, even though it is controversial. There are only a few P4P schemes currently operating in Australia, but there have been recent proposals to expand its use.
•This paper examines the evidence on the impact of P4P schemes in health care. While the evidence is limited and yields mixed results, some experts argue that this should not spell the end for P4P. Instead, they suggest that policy-makers proceed with caution and use the existing evidence to highlight the challenges commonly associated with the use of P4P in health care. Some of the most important challenges are designing a system with:
–substantial rewards and targets that are reasonably difficult to achieve;
–minimal unintended consequences and incentives to ‘game’ the system, and;
–incentives for both the best and worst performers to improve the quality of health care.
•The paper also outlines recommendations made by Professor Ian Scott on the necessary design features for successful P4P schemes in the Australian context.”

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Medical practitioners: education and training in Australia – Parliamentary Paper – 15 July 2009

Posted on July 17, 2009. Filed under: Medicine, Workforce | Tags: |

Medical practitioners: education and training in Australia – Parliamentary Paper – 15 July 2009

This background note summarises that process, elaborating upon the roles played by the major providers of medical education in Australia and the pathways taken by students to qualify as medical practitioners.

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