HLT51612 - Apply understanding of the Australian Health Care System - Nursing Assessment Answer

December 08, 2018
Author : Andy Johnson

Solution Code: 1AABF

Question: Apply understanding of the Australian Health Care System

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Assignment Task

Write an essay that compares and contrasts some of the features of Australia’s health care system, with those of a different country’s health care system.

The essay must address the following points:

  1. Discuss the overall structure of the Australian health care system compared to the other country’s health care system.
  2. Examine the funding models for both health care systems; reviewing the roles and contributions of the government, private insurance companies and the individual.
  3. Compare and contrast the health outcomes of each health care system to global averages.
  4. Identify health care policies and the social impact of health care delivery to Indigenous populations or minorities groups within each country.
  5. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of both health care systems.
  6. Outline one primary health care, a preventative health care program or a health promotion program that highlights the Australian health care system.

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A healthcare system might be defined as a comprehensive system which is responsible for ensuring health and wellbeing of all individuals who are a part of that system (AIHW, 2014). Australia’s healthcare system comprises of an optimal combination of public as well as private players. Public players consist of local, territorial, state level and the National Government (Best et al, 2012). Private players on the other hand include private hospitals and medical facilities provisioned by individual practitioners. Medicare costs for the nation are shared by both public as well as private players (Jefford et al, 2013).  Although Medicare provision is a government initiative in Australia, significant portion of costs are covered by private players. Understanding the health of the people and the conditions provided to them by the government serves the basic needs of a country's progress (Russo et al, 2015). Australia provides a concrete Healthcare system and research fundamentals to its citizens. Aided by the Australian government and companies, Australia continues to be listed on the top of the list of the countries, providing effective Healthcare system to the people (Makeham, 2015). However, there are areas where the shortcomings need to be evaluated. This essay compares the existing Healthcare system of Australia and the USA. The measure that needs to be undertaken by the government has also been summarize. This article demonstrates the gaps prevailing in the Australian Healthcare system and their advantages, to make Australia a better place to live.

Comparing Australia’s health system with that of USA

Australia’s structure of Health Care system is a result of the financial prosperity of the country. The financial aiding facilities that the country receives are dependent on the prosperity of the healthcare units in the country (Jefford et al, 2013). The business council of Australia states that the rate of health improvement of the country is the result of its increase in GDP (Hay et al, 2016). If the health issues are resolved and more investing occurs in this field, net GDP of the country automatically increases at a faster rate. If this corporate strategy is well implemented, there will be an increase in the total revenue expense in Healthcare field (Shi & Singh, 2015). This will render Australia to be financially stable. According to the statistics of the World Bank in 2014, Australia spends 9.42% of their GDP on health, whereas US spends 17.1% of their GDP on health. This is in accordance with the Business Council of Australia (Jefford et al, 2013). It is, therefore, evident that USA spends a lot more of their GDP on health, also because of their population density. Therefore, it is clear, that the expenditure on health in terms of GDP is much more in the USA as compared to Australia (Russo et al, 2015). The US being more populated as compared to Australia has a more flexible and better-managed Healthcare system as compared to Australia (Makeham, 2015).

The overall framework and base of Healthcare in both Australia and the USA depend on the funding schemes and policy implementations by the private and public sectors. Both Australia and the USA have funding models for the health system's effectiveness and management (Best et al, 2012). The Australian government funds public hospitals and the private sector manages the private hospitals in Australia. The Australian government, state government and territorial government provide the healthcare funding's for other fields (Jefford et al, 2013). Mental Health service, Aboriginal community health service, Torres Strait Islander Health service, health research service and population health programs. According to the Consumers Health Forum of Australia, the Australian government provided a health expense of 69.7% in 2011 to 2012. Commonwealth provided 42.4% of the expense and the state government provided 27.3% of the expenses (Russo et al, 2015). In 2014, $9523 was spent on per capita national health by USA and Australia spent $6639 in 2014 on national health perspective (Hay et al, 2016). Non-government expenditure has also increased from 30.0% in 2011-2012 to 32.2% in 2012-2013. Therefore, US have a foot ahead in the overall structure of Health System as compared to Australia (Hay et al, 2016).

Australian health Care division promotes the focus on the care of the individual's health and prosperity. According to the statistics of the Commonwealth Fund (2013), Australia had 3.4 acute care hospital beds and the USA had 2.5 acute care hospital beds per 1000 populations. At the same time, Australia had 173 per 1000 discharges and USA had 126 per 1000 discharges from hospitals in 2013 (Makeham, 2015). On the other hand, USA had 35.5 MRI machines, per million populations and Australia, had 13.4 MRI machines per million populations in 2013. Australia had infant mortality rate of 3.6 per 1000 live births and USA had a mortality rate of 6.1 per 1000 live births in the year 2013 (Shi & Singh, 2015). Due to Ischemic Heart disease, Australia experienced 224 deaths per 100000 populations in 1995 and this reduced to 98 in 2013 (Jolley et al, 2014). On the other hand, USA had 225 deaths per 100000 populations in 1995 and 128 in 2013. It is also evident that Japan had only 35 deaths in 100000 populations in 2013 (Shi & Singh, 2015). Australia had 3.4 practising physicians per 1000 populations in 2013 whereas the US had 2.6 practising physicians per 1000 populations. This outcome statistics proves the advancements in the healthcare division and their respective funding patterns of USA as compared to Australia (Makeham, 2015).

Australian Health Care Division aims to provide individuals care and health prosperity (AIHW, 2014). According to the World Health Organisation, Both Australia and the USA had <5% of the population using Solid fuels. These solid fuels after exhaustion cause air pollution that adversely affects the health and a potent cause of death globally (Jolley et al, 2014). However, due to the lower population level, this Australia poses an advantage in this field. According to Health and Social Statistics, Australia had a life expectancy of 81.39 and USA had a life expectancy of 79.68 in 2015 (Hay et al, 2016). According to the World Cancer Research, 59584 women affected with Breast cancer in Australia are still alive after 5 years of treatment, and 970693 women affected with Breast Cancer in the USA are still alive after 5 years of progressive treatment. According to the South Australia’s Health Care Plan (2007), there must be a focus of the government on the improvement in the lifestyle of the people (Moses et al, 2013). This implementation can minimize the occurrences of illness. Although the plan aims at increasing the infrastructure of the healthcare system, yet the older and mentally affected people are also focused in accord to the plan (Visser et al, 2014). This may positively influence the communal health, thereby improving the health. According to literature, a plan was implemented about the warning labels on cigarette packets in Australia, but it had no effects on the general populations (Zimlichman et al, 2013). According to literature, US adopted Diagnostic and Predictive screening of Blood pressure, to monitor the health of the people. This initiative proves the consciousness of the US government in improving the health status of the country (Zimlichman et al, 2013).

As indicated by literature, Australia fails to provide effective primary care to citizens that have been infected with chronic diseases. Although policies were established in tackling chronic diseases, yet this field remains uncovered in Australia. Lack of statistical count resulted in the poor evaluation of the obtained data. However, the lower mortality statistics reveal the lower pollution rate of Australia, due to the lower population in Australia as compared to the USA (Shi & Singh, 2015). Australian citizens are bestowed to pay the most amount of money for their health care yet; they do not have the respective quality assured. According to literature, USA has lower health quality as compared to peer countries, in spite of spending more on healthcare services (Russo et al, 2015). The poorer health conditions in the USA are mainly because of the ethnicity, illiteracy, immigration, geographical presence and sexual orientations of the people. Hence, these are the notable loopholes found in the Australian Health care systems, which call for mitigation and proper improvisation techniques (Makeham, 2015).

The Australian government, State government and territorial government provided a joint initiative of a health program of the Screening of Cancer in Australia. It constitutes pre-cancer treatments. If any signs or symptoms appear on an individual this program enables the individual to undergo a health screening of cancer (Jolley et al, 2014). Breast screening, cervical screening and Bowel screening are included in this program. In 2011-2014, more than 1.4 million women had an active part in this program. However, lower participation was noted among the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders (Jolley et al, 2014). In 2011, 82 initial breast cancers and 21 ductal carcinomas were recorded for every 1000 woman undergoing screening for the first time. The National Cervical Screening program had 3.7 women attending the Screening test and 16641 women were found to be in the pre-cancerous stage (Vuori et al, 2013). 325276 people were screened for Bowel Cancer, 22472 of them had positive results, and 857 were found to be in the pre-cancerous stage. However, it did not detect any new form of cancer among the people. The Aboriginal Australians have lower rates of participation in this program. Therefore, their awareness must be improved, to ensure maximum participation and screening (Moses et al, 2013).


It is difficult for the country to exercise all the policies and plans that have been established. Some gaps are bound to be left in few of the aspects. Although, the maximum of the fields have been covered in Australia the gaps need to be filled in order to sustain the dreams of achieving new heights in the Health sector of the country. More emphasis must be provided for the treatment of chronic diseases that the people have been suffering. Although the Australian government tries to its fullest to maintain the stability and prosperity of the health policies, yet the responsible citizens must bring the gaps in the limelight. People must appeal to the government whenever there are any shortcomings in the policy implementation. This initiative will help Australia to be a Healthcare specialized country in the world.

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