Health Systems and Economics 

Introduction to Health Systems of Australia

The system of government is likely to deliver care services throughout life. The health of individuals is impacted by economical, environmental, and social factors affecting daily life. World Health Organization is the constitutional body that ensures delivery of health care in terms of high quality and patient safety to all. The Health System of Australia works in a way that it delivers its services from governmental as well as non-governmental institutions (Batterham, McGrath & McGorry et al., 2016). The delivery of health services is done in numerous ways and forms such as by education programs, treatment options, diagnostic facilities, treatment in healthcare institutions, health promotion, rehabilitation services, and palliative care. In this essay, we will look at the healthcare delivery system in Australia.

The healthcare system of Australia includes the delivery of services at both governmental and non-governmental institutes. The main roles of government in organizing Australia’s health system at each level is as the governmental policy of Australia is such that it is responsible for the development of national health policy, administering insurance services through Medicare, providing funds to states, overseeing primary health networks, and organizing healthcare services to health and medical research (Vogler & Vitry, 2016). Tertiary and stare governments are responsible for managing public health hospitals, giving license to private hospitals, looking at local health networks, providing ambulatory services, and working on screening and immunization programs. The local governments are held responsible to look after health-related services such as disposal of waste, support services, home-based health services, and promotion activities (Batterham, McGrath & McGorry et al., 2016).

The funding arrangements of Australia includes the complex structure as the country gets funding from all levels of government. The non-governmental organizations, individuals, and insurance companies are responsible to pay for products and services with half, full, or reimbursement systems. In the year 2015-16, the amount spent was $170 billion on health in Australia. Two-third expenditure of Australia was spent on Health and other non-governmental sources remained third which is 33%. 17% of the total health expenditure was spent by the individuals in 2015-16 on out-of-pocket to avail medical services (Vogler & Vitry, 2016). The major proportion was shared by dental services, primary health care, and non-subsidized medicines. Medicare is Australia’s universal public health system that is covered through taxation revenue and a 2% Medicare levy. The public health facilities are run by the state and national government through Medicare support. The services and procedures are covered under this insurance scheme to provide a range of prescript medicines on subsidized rates. Private health insurance is also followed in Australia to manage healthcare expenses. Two types of insurance are given by healthcare service providers that ensure the services in two forms such as general treatment covering some non-medical health services and given by hospitals to cover some of the hospital costs (Vogler & Vitry, 2016).

The country is delivering its services based on building blocks of the World Health Organization such as health service delivery, health information systems, access to essential medicines, health workforce, health systems financing, and leadership and governance. All the components are essential to run the health system but the most important is governance and leadership because it defines relationships between elements of health. Moreover, it is the superordinate and foundational building block of progress towards health promotion goals and actions. The emphasis by the Australian health system is laid on the governance and health of the country to have interdepartmental and intergovernmental relationships. In Australia, health spending is recorded very high due to which a good sum of reduction is observed in GST and taxation revenues (Needham & Dickinson, 2018). While South Australian Health was continued to deliver to have sustainable growth in the environment. Health Promotion Prevention Plan has been formed to maintain prevention systems for the ongoing commitment to implementing effective strategies.

The main aim of the platform was to decide the coordinating and integrating factors for advocacy of primary and secondary prevention (Lopes, Carter & Street, 2015). Several policies have been formed to provide financial assistance to the Aboriginal community to deliver health services of primary as well as secondary levels. Population-based models have been developed to determine the funding allocations to disadvantaged population groups and addressing health issues. The decision was taken by the government to cut healthcare costs furthered to state as well as local government to provide professionals at local as well as regional levels. This was set to maintain the level of the building block to maintain and establish a network of health agencies and practitioners to foster collaboration and coordination for the promotion of health. The last health system building block is information that describes the gaining of evidence from research and evaluation activities. They will particularly help in the reformation of policies and making changes as per need (Fabbri, Swandari & Lau et al., 2019).

The reformation in the health system includes the convergence of telehealth services to deliver health services through communication and information about technologies such as videoconferencing. Telehealth services are the key priority for Australians because chronic and mental health conditions are rising which needs concentration for improvement. This system is followed to tackle challenges that are faced by the rural population of Australia. There is a constant increase in disease burden that is noticed that’s why telemedicine needs to be involved in the healthcare system. This is a cost-effective way to support people to manage their health inconvenient manner to make advancements in the system. Telemedicine is the method that allows patients to know the readings of their vital signs and give their information securely to their care coordinators (Booth, Hill & Moore et al., 2016). Telehealth consultations are held by specialists in a subsidized manner so that a higher number of patients are attended in this way. This is a very helpful mechanism to fill the gap that informs policy decisions at the national as well as local level.

Conclusion on Health Systems of Australia

The primary health services are given by the government in government as well as non-government institutes. The affordability, accessibility, acceptability are the three A’s that are followed in the healthcare delivery system to ensure patient safety and quality.

References for Health Systems of Australia

Batterham, P. J., McGrath, J., McGorry, P. D., Kay-Lambkin, F. J., Hickie, I. B., & Christensen, H. (2016). NHMRC funding of mental health research. The Medical Journal of Australia205(8), 350-351. 10.5694/mja16.00179

Booth, M., Hill, G., Moore, M. J., Dalla, D., Moore, M. G., & Messenger, A. (2016). The new Australian Primary Health Networks: how will they integrate public health and primary care. Public Health Res Pract26(1), e2611603. https://www.phrp.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/PHRP-26-01-PHNs-FINAL-01-20Jan16.pdf

Fabbri, A., Swandari, S., Lau, E., Vitry, A., & Mintzes, B. (2019). Pharmaceutical industry funding of health consumer groups in Australia: a cross-sectional analysis. International Journal of Health Services49(2), 273-293. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0020731418823376

Lopes, E., Carter, D., & Street, J. (2015). Power relations and contrasting conceptions of evidence in patient-involvement processes used to inform health funding decisions in Australia. Social Science & Medicine135, 84-91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.04.021

Needham, C., & Dickinson, H. (2018). 'Anyone of us could be among that number': Comparing the Policy Narratives for Individualized Disability Funding in Australia and England. Social Policy & Administration52(3), 731-749. https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12320

Vogler, S., & Vitry, A. (2016). Cancer drugs in 16 European countries, Australia, and New Zealand: a cross-country price comparison study. The Lancet Oncology17(1), 39-47. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00449-0

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