Primary Healthcare Crisis in Australia Essay

2513 WordsAug 6, 201211 Pages
The Australian health care system is in crisis. Large public hospitals are stretched to breaking point, hospital beds are full. Yet a substantial percentage of these hospital admissions may have been avoided had these patients had the opportunity to have their illnesses managed correctly outside the acute setting. From a financial viewpoint the tertiary sector is stretched about as far as it can go, and the situation is worsening. Lifestyle and chronic illnesses are on the increase. Each year more people are being diagnosed with diseases that without correct long term management will place further strain on a system that is at breaking point. An ageing population and crtitical shortages in our health care workforce are all adding up to a grim picture. The labour government is implementing a move away from the large hospitals to a primary health care model. Community based, holistic care provided by multi disciplinary teams of health workers. Care that is focused not just on illness but on health management and disease prevention. This essay will consider how a move towards the primary health care model and away from the acute medical model of health will improve the health outcomes for Australians. The Australian General Practice Network, [AGPN], 2009, released a primary healthcare position statement which found that Australia had an extremely high rate of hospitalisation, compared to the rest of the world. They showed that a large number of people, 700,000, who are hospitalised each year could have remained outside the acute setting if their chronic illnesses had been prevented or managed via primary health care. The AGPN go on to argue that the Australian public is becoming over-reliant on public hospitals which in turn is placing a huge financial strain on our system. As well as from a financial perspective, the health system is facing an

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