Believe well researched reports, not politicians and bureaucrates platitudes
Mainstream media frequently declared Australia to be the ‘Lucky Country’ and boasts that it has not faced a recession in 27 years.
However many authative sources have examined our our fastest growing expenditure, and tell a different story.
Here are a few of the reports into Australia’s health system that you probably have never heard of.
Saving Medicare But NOT As We Know It – this report by Jeremy Sammut shows that –
Health spending has increased by 80% from $53 billion in 2000–01 to more than $90 billion in 2010–11.
The author concludes that –
The ‘magic pudding’ mentality that dominates the discussion about health is untenable given the ageing-driven financial challenges ahead.
Private Healthcare Australia commissioned a report that graded the standards of 600 Australian private hospitals.
The private insurers who commissioned the report, wanted to ban private hospitals where care was rated C— leaving patients with dangerous infections or needing their treatment redone completely.
The results so upset some members of the private hospital industry, that the entire report has been permanently banned from publication after continuing legal threats.
Australian tax payers currently subsidies the private health insurance rebate by 6 billion a year. In return they receive no public information about cost or quality available to either patients.
- Australia’s now have the third highest out of pocket medical costs in the Western world.
- One third of Australian hospitals are now private
- The majority of oncology and orthopedic treatments are conducted in the private sector
- Private hospitals perform about two-thirds of all elective surgery.
A study published in 2012 called CareTrack – assessing the appropriateness of health care delivery in Australia. It found that Australians receive ‘appropriate care’ in only 57% of the instances they studied.
Full report is here. However links to patient outcomes and Medicare payments have still not been introduced.
One of many excellent reports by the Grattan Institute called Strengthening safety statistics – how to make hospital safety data more useful – raise the issue of hospital data being kept hidden.
However non of these reports have triggered a government review, media campaign or even a Royal Commission.
Western countries face similar issues
The unsustainability of healthcare is an international issue.
The OECD published a report in 2015 stating that at current spending trends, western health systems would become unsupportable by 2040.
Other nations are moving ahead to reform their current systems.
Denmark has cut one third of its hospitals, forced the remaining ones to modernise and shifted the focus from hospital care to community care.
Britain is forcing the bureaucrat heavy NHS to introduce modern technology and increase efficiency.
America has published public lists of good and bad hospitals for years, has a well funded group dedicated to promoting the importance of patient safety and is now moving to publish ALL private procedure costs.
The reality is that failing to reform health care now, will bankrupt future generations.
Those who express strident concern into the sustainability of the environment, should consider the importance of the sustainability of a functioning health care system.
© Wikihospitals June 2019
The Norman Swan report – The Care Track Study – ABC Radio National