Health Equality

3685 WordsJun 18, 200515 Pages
HEALTH EQUALITY: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINALS , TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS AND THE FIRST NATIONS OF CANADA INTRODUCTION Equality in health implies that ideally everyone should have a fair opportunity to attain his or her full health potential and, more reasonably, that no one should be disadvantaged from achieving this potential. Based on this definition, the aim of policy for equity and health is not to eliminate all health differences so that everyone has the same level and quality of health, but rather to reduce or eliminate those which result from factors which are considered to be avoidable and unfair. To appreciate the importance of striving for equity in relation to health, it is necessary to be aware…show more content…
2001) The universal health insurance system, Medicare, is financed mainly through general taxation. There is a health tariff equivalent to 1.5% of taxable income above certain income threshold upon individual taxpayers. Revenue raised by the Medicare levy has been equal to about 20% of total Commonwealth health expenditure and about 8.5% of total national health expenditure (ABS 2000). Medicare is available to people who live in Australia or hold Australian citizenship. Medical treatment is mostly free and its use largely unlimited. In-patient hospital care, and treatment by general practitioners and specialists is free, essential pharmaceuticals are subsidized, and there is no limit upon the amount of medical services that an individual may use (Mooney, et al. 1998). Figure 3: Total Health Expenditure as % of GDP, Australia and selected OECD countries, 1976-1999. (Source: OECD Health Data 2000) Private health insurance covers a significant proportion of the Australian health care system with 30% of the population having additional private health insurance coverage in 1998 increasing to 45% in 2001, after the implementation of subsidies for purchasing, and tax penalties for not purchasing, private insurance (Healy, et al. 2001). Results from the 1995 NHS show 11% of Indigenous adults in non-remote areas had private insurance, compared with 43% of the non-Indigenous population, reducing the access of Aboriginal and Torres
Open Document