The Australian Health System consists of a mix of public and private sector health services and a range of funding and regulatory mechanisms. Service providers include private medical practitioners, other health professionals, public and private hospitals, clinics and other government and non-government agencies.
Funding for services is provided by the Federal Government, State, Territory and Local governments, health insurers, individuals and a range of other sources. Australia’s health system is financed through a combination of income tax, a specific income levy (the Medicare) and private financing by individuals through private health insurance (PHI) premiums and out of pocket payments. Almost 70% of the total health expenditure is funded by government. The Federal Government contributes with two-thirds and State, Territory and Local governments contribute with the other third. Federal Government funding involves three major national subsidy schemes - Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and the Private Health Insurance rebate(Graziano 2010).
1. The structure of health services
The Department of Health and Ageing in Australia is structured in divisions, each concerned with different aspects of Health. * The Division of Regulatory Policy and Governance includes the branches of: Research, Regulation and Food, Safety and Quality and Hearing Reform. * Primary and Ambulatory Care Division has: Development, Infrastructure and Support, GP Super Clinics and Medicare Local branches. * Population Health Division includes: Adviser Chronic Disease and Cancer, Healthy Living, Cancer and Palliative Care, Tobacco, Drug Strategy, Chronic Disease. * The Office of Health Protection...