Health Minister Sussan Ley and the Australian Government have released a discussion paper on possible reforms to primary health care. The aim is to gather information and inform any decision by the federal government to develop Medicare in line with the growing threat of chronic diseases, in the hope of alleviating some of the pressure on hospitals.
With chronic diseases known to be the biggest health risk in Australia, it is something that the health industry as a whole is trying to confront.
The discussion paper, titled 'Better outcomes for people living Chronic and Complex Health Conditions through Primary Health Care' will hope to create options for making greater use of public resources.
Half of Australians at risk of chronic disease
In an August 12 media release, the Minister of Health pointed to findings regarding the scale of the impact chronic diseases are having in Australian society.
"It is concerning these stats show not only do half of all Australians have a chronic disease but one in five have at least two of the most common eight chronic diseases – including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mental health conditions."
Subsequently, Ms Ley suggested the time is right to have open discussion and include medical professionals, the public, health insurance providers and industry authorities on how to better care for some of the most in need.
"We are committed to finding better ways to care for people with chronic and complex conditions and ensure they receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time", she explained.
"This discussion is a real opportunity to cater for the increase in chronic and complex conditions and this approach ensures that health professionals and patients continue to be central to this process."
Those wishing to give their views on the matter have been encouraged to visit the Department of Health's website and complete the survey.
The role of private health insurance
The primary health care reform also comes days after The Australian reported a subsequent reform announcement to private health insurance, in a bid to control rising premium rates. It is believed that a number of people opting out of private health insurance is putting more pressure on public facilities, causing more concern for those receiving treatment for such pressing conditions as chronic disease.
Those seeking health insurance should not necessarily be put off by rising premiums, as there are ways to ensure a policy meets both quality and cost requirements.
The April premium rise caused concern for many, though earlier in the year, we outlined some ways to lower the cost of health insurance. However, if you are worried about the creeping costs and would like to provide cover for yourself and your family, our staff are more than willing to help.
Call one of them today on 1300 44 22 01.