Health priorities in Australia
Australia’s health care systems are designed in a way that majority of funds and resources are used on curative services and facilities such as pharmaceuticals and hospitals. Health promotion is embracing a new preventative approach by using the effectiveness of the Ottawa charter. The role of Australian health systems is to achieve a balance between resources of prevention and resources of treatment. There has been a changing emphasis from cure to prevention. Australian health care systems involve complex interrelationships between: commonwealth, state and local governments. Health insurance funds, public and private providers of services: for example doctors, institutions e.g. hospitals and other organisations such as community health services. This system is extensive and diverse in nature, originally it’s provided: diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and care for people with long term illness or disability. The role of health care systems in Australia is to provide quality health facilities and meet the needs of all Australian’s. Health care within Australia is mostly about clinical diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation and lacks with a preventative approach. The Australian health care systems can be divided into two types institutional and non-institutional. Institutional care includes the facilities that are used to provide health care e.g. hospitals (public and private), nursing homes and psychiatric hospitals. Non-institutional care includes the services (medical practitioners and specialists) health related services (pharmaceutical) and health promotion and illness prevention services. Accidents and illness can cost an individual significant amount of money. The Commonwealth government is committed to provide equity within all health services to individuals, through a basic health insurance Medicare. Medicare is Australia’s universal system of health care that provides services that are accessible to all Australians. Medicare provides Australians to free treatment as a public patient in a public hospital and free or subsidised treatment by a medical practitioner, including GPs, specialists and some specified services of optometrists and dentists. Some individuals choose to pay for private health insurance, which allows people to cover private hospitals and ancillary expenses such as: dental, physiotherapy, and chiropractic services and aids and appliances such as glasses. Individuals choose private health insurance for multiple reasons such as shorter waiting times for treatment, own choice of staying in hospitals, own choice of doctor, ancillary benefits e.g. dental care, (security, protection peace of mind) private rooms and insurance cover while overseas. Throughout Medicare and private health insurance the government wants to provide equity to all Australians. Currently there are five different levels of responsibility for Australian health care. Commonwealth government which is in control of the formation of national health policies and the control of health systems financing through the collection of taxes. It provides funds to the state and territory governments for health care. State and Territory governments have the responsibility for providing health and community services e.g. hospital services, mental health programs and dental health services. They also distribute funds to the community health services, public hospitals and health activities. The private sector provides a wide range of services such as private hospitals, dentists and alternate health services e.g. chiropractors. The private sector gains funds from the commonwealth and state for organisations such as the National Heart Foundation. The local governments varies health responsibility from state to state but mainly focuses on environmental control and a range of personal preventative and home care services which includes sanitation and hygiene standards, waste disposal and immunisation. Community groups...
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