Australians have had their say and many people are concerned over the future of healthcare, with the issue becoming their number-one priority. What's more, they're ready to spend their vote to ensure healthcare stays top of our policymakers' minds.
43 per cent of people list "ensuring the quality of Australia's health system" among their top three voting criteria.
The results from the March 1 Essential Report survey shows that 43 per cent of people list "ensuring the quality of Australia's health system" among their top three voting criteria. This puts the issue above other factors, such as the "management of the economy" (37 per cent), which in November 2015 took top spot.
It was also ranked more of a priority than the protection of local jobs and industries (35 per cent), housing affordability (23 per cent), and quality education (21 per cent).
Why so high?
With the April 1 rises in private health insurance premiums and concern over how an increasingly ageing population is putting a strain on healthcare standards, it will come as no surprise that this is a major issue for many Australians.
The problem is certainly not going unnoticed by the healthcare professionals and industry bodies. The Australian Ageing Agenda says that technology and aged care are both focuses of the upcoming Australian Healthcare Week event.
The emphasis is on making the Australian healthcare industry more efficient through the latest medical technologies, and putting a particular focus on how we effectively care for our older demographic.
Considering private health insurance
Private health insurance will continue to play a big part in boosting quality standards. Private hospitals take some of the burden away from their public counterparts by providing medical benefits to those who can afford it.
With fewer people in public healthcare, doctors, nurses and other professionals have more time to handle their increasing patient workload. There are also incentives to do so, with the private health insurance rebate subsidising cover for families that earn up to $280,000 per year, as well as penalties for those who can afford cover through the Medicare levy surcharge.
Of course, it all depends on whether you can afford cover in the first place, and that's becoming a bigger concern with premiums rising by around 6 per cent each year – as they will do again on April 1, 2016.
What you can do is make sure you find an attractive rate for the cover you need, which is where a private health insurance comparison can help. If you need a hand picking a quality policy, contact HICA on 1300 44 22 01. Our services are free to individuals, couples and families, and we'll work in your best interest to set you up for the future, whatever it may hold.