Healthcare Systems of Australia

the healthcare systems of Australia introduction the Australian healthcare system is made up of many components regulated by the Department of Health and funded by both state and federal bodies largely these include a public and a private health sector the public sector includes the Medicare public health insurance and aims to provide Australians with free access to GP services and immediate care at a public hospital the public sector is largely funded by a 1.5 Medicare taxation levy which all Australian taxpayers contribute to in conjunction to this under Medicare the government subsidizes the cost of necessary medicines through the pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme the private sector covers access to private treatment in a public or private hospital as well as specialist services to be treated in private hospitals and facilities Australians need to purchase private health insurance the aim of this is to take some pressure off the public system outside of these two government-funded systems other forms of privately funded healthcare exist such as complementary and alternative medicines these can include Chinese medicine and acupuncture which will be discussed later in this presentation you public hospitals in Australia public hospitals account for over 50% of the total number of hospitals the major services the public hospitals provide and the population requiring access to these services are as follows acute care services short term medical care for acute illness sub acute care management of complex or chronic conditions geriatric services for elderly people palliative care people with terminal illnesses emergency services all populations strengths and weaknesses of the public hospital strengths free medical and surgical care because of the Medicare Agreement weaknesses extreme lack of medical resources for patients such as hospital beds due to an increased demand this demand causes an increase in the workload for public hospitals data shows that Australia has more hospital admissions than many other countries the consequences of this is that there is an increase in the demand of public hospital resources data also indicates that a large proportion of patients are admitted to hospital due to the care of long-term chronic diseases therefore many people are using these resources on a regular basis the effect of this is that more patients are more patients are admitted to hospital creating a larger work load larger treatment which takes longer to complete and patients are taking longer to be discharged health insurance health insurance in Australia includes both Medicare and private health insurance Medicare was introduced in 1984 and entitles Australians to free treatment in a public hospital and by GPS Medicare also entitles free services from specialists when a GP refers individuals through a care plan these plans are listed under a department of health regulated publication called the Medicare benefit schedule the medical services Advisory Committee provides the government information on services which are considered appropriate for public funding and are hence included in this document examples include access to free sessions of the psychologist through the mental health care plan the public health insurance scheme is largely funded by a 1.5 percent Medicare taxation levy unlike Medicare only 46 percent of Australians have private health insurance which is purchase through a private provider private health insurance allows individuals to choose where they are treated and buy which doctor private practitioners include most out of hospital medical services such as dentists and physiotherapists one-third of total government healthcare expenditure is felt it's spent on private health insurance with the government subsidizing 30% of insurance premiums for Australians the average cost for private health insurance for a family in Victoria is 344 dollars a month for basic cover in a private hospital private health insurance cost the government 3 billion dollars a year in contrast to this it is estimated that the cost of maintaining a large public hospital is only 500 million the PBS commenced in 1919 after the war finished to allow access to drugs for War veterans only later in 1948 legislation was introduced to provide all residents with free access to 139 drugs which over the years has expanded to include over 70% of prescribed medications in Australia the PBS is available to all Australians with a Medicare card or visitors from countries that Australia has a reciprocal health reciprocal healthcare agreement with from the 1st of January 2014 $36 90 is the most you can pay for a medicine listed under the PBS or for a concession card holder this is $6 the government pays the remainder of the cost the PBS is designed to ensure the necessary medications deemed safe of a high quality and efficacy by the therapeutic goods association are universally available at an affordable cost a weakness of the PBS which is of significance is its sustainability as the cost of the PBS is upwards of 6 billion dollars per year and this number is increasing the main strengths of the PBS are that it provides universal access to necessary medications at a significantly reduced cost complementary and alternative medicine complementary and alternative medicine orcam is a broad term describing various healthcare therapies that are not generally considered within the domain of conventional medicine examples of CAM include dietary supplements acupuncture and physiotherapy in Australia approximately 60% of the population use some form of CAM and around 2 billion dollars is spent each year on cam there are many different reasons why individuals choose to use cam including taking natural supplements such as omega-3 fish oils and vitamins to improve their health others may choose to undergo physical physical therapy or acupuncture alongside treatment to help manage symptoms and side effects in rare cases alternative approaches such as Chinese herbal medicine or traditional healers can be used instead of conventional medicine in medical in many countries including Australia cam is not covered by the public health care system and must be paid fully by the consumer private health insurance with extras can provide a rebate for some cam therapies Medicare can also provide cover for some cam therapies such as physiotherapy if deemed necessary by a GP the advantage of cam not being covered by Medicare is that it puts it puts less strain on the public healthcare system while also providing an incentive for individuals and families to purchase private health insurance a disadvantage is that some people may not be able to afford cam and must rely on Medicare for their health furthermore the government may not invest money to recognize or fund research into cam if it is not provided in the public health system


  1. This what happens when the insurance industry takes over the health industry.
    Bad faith activities with no recourse.

  2. It is important to get checkups, thanks to my doctor at they have this online booking tool for their patients appointment.

  3. Great presentation but forgot a disadvantage of CAMs… they are not evidence based and they are not based on scientific literature, therefore we can't guarantee its safety. Which ultimately it's why it's called "Alternative Medicine" and not "Medicine"

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