Essay on Australian Health Care

2249 Words Jul 14th, 2011 9 Pages
The Australian population currently exceeds 20 million, with most of the population located primarily in the cities and along the coast; it also spreads to rural and remote indigenous communities. The Australian Government spends in excess of 66 billion dollars per year on health care, averaging out to approx $3,300 per person. (Medicare Australia 2009)
This essay will discuss the structure of Australia’s healthcare system, known as Medicare. It will also discuss the role of the Government and Non-Government agencies, and Medicare’s strengths and weaknesses. It will also address the health and illness issues that aboriginal and people from overseas face, and also the significance of implementing best practice and quality management
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Home care and personal preventive services, such as immunisation is also the role of the Local Government. (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2009)

Non-government agencies have a specific role in our communities, and comprise of either individual organisations with specific issues, (eg. Heart disease, asthma) or whole populations, (eg. Aboriginals, people with HIV/AIDS). They offer specific knowledge, experience and access to individuals in need of assistance. These services are contracted out by the Government, but are funded both privately and by the government also. (Public Health in Australia 1998) There are other agencies that are funded purely on donations alone. The Salvation Army is one of these agencies, and it offers assistance to the society in dire need in ways such as housing, health, providing support, clothing, food etc. (The Salvation Army 2009)

About one third of all hospital beds in Australia are provided by Private Hospitals. Although half of all Australians have private health insurance, the Government is seeking to achieve an even higher balance of Australians with private cover, while preserving Medicare as the universal safety net. An example of how the private system works is; if a private patient was admitted to either a private or public hospital, they would have a choice of doctor to treat them. Medicare would pay 75% of the Medicare
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