Where is Australia now?
Australians rank amongst the healthiest in the world with our health system one of the most efficient and equitable.
However, the nation's strong health outcomes hide a few alarming facts:
- Australians spend on average 11 years in ill health - the highest among OECD countries
- 63% (over 11 million) of adult Australians are considered overweight or obese
- There is a 10-year life expectancy gap between the health of non-Indigenous Australians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- 60% of the adult population have low levels of health literacy
- The majority of Australians do not consume the recommended number of serves from any of the five food groups.
What challenges do we face?
Changing national health profile
Increasing needs to support the ageing and the rise of chronic disease require resources and investment. However, this requirement will compete with emerging impacts of climate change, biosecurity threats and the rise of rare diseases.
Inequity in access and experience
Improvements in national health outcomes will require providing access to quality health services for all Australians.
Consumer behaviour and trust
Consumers are demanding more from their healthcare experiences and embracing new technology for low-risk decision making relating to their health.
Adjusting to an increasingly digital world
Trust in data sharing, digital and health literacy, data ownership, system interoperability, and Australia’s current digital infrastructure present as key barriers to a more integrated and data-enabled health system.
Fragmented and inflexible health systems
Barriers to an integrated health services model include multiple and complex funding arrangements, siloed data streams, ever‑evolving regulatory requirements, and dated infrastructure.
Healthcare costs and the dependency ratio continue to rise, placing significant financial pressure on all stakeholders. Some solutions are gaining traction, however require significant changes to financing structures, cultures, and expensive initial outlays.
A shift in focus for Australia's health system
Value will be rewarded over volume, consumers will be empowered and viewed as a valuable health resource, humanity and relationships will be essential elements of care, and technology will be used to decrease costs and increase access to care.
How do we enable to shift?
Digital technologies could assist many of the necessary changes, complementing the role of health professionals and providing consumers with greater autonomy in their health and wellbeing management. However the sector will also need to consider how to facilitate greater uptake of novel and effective health solutions; how to provide health professionals and organisations with the necessary support required to successfully navigate change; the system changes required to securely unlock value from the growing volume of personal health information being generated; and opportunities for divesting away from obsolete or lower value health solutions.
Five key enablers are discussed in this report:
- Empowered customers
- Addressing health inequity
- Unlocking the value of digitised data
- Supporting integrated and precision health solutions
- Integrating with the global sector
Read our insights on Australia's new approach to health
We're working towards a new approach for healthcare in Australia
You can read more below:
- Executive summary PDF (676 KB)
- Executive summary - text version TXT (9 KB)
- Full Report PDF (3 MB)
- Full Report - text version TXT (156 KB)
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