Part of the bigger picture on the cost of health care in Australia is evident in this report for 2017-18. I’m not sure if there is a similar more recent version.
Simple take aways:
- Approx 11 million out of 25 million Aussies have some form of private health cover.
- The total annual expenditure on all health care $185 billion. (IE $7,485 per person)
- The Commonwealth provided $ 77B of the funding.
- The States & Territories provided $ 49B of the funding.
- Private Health insurers provided $ 16.6B (9%) of funding.
The size of the contribution of private health insurance towards meeting medical needs is self evident.
There analysis in this report of how the private sector supports or does not support the cost of medical services in Australia does not look at inputs to the sector.
If there are potential weaknesses in the public system in Australia they might include limited support for optical and hearing, no support for dental, waiting times for non urgent procedures (until they have become critical).
Access to specialists and the ability to receive the attention of the same specialist over time is generally reserved for private patients. Specialist services tend also to be concentrated, making universal access for private and public patients in many areas of Australia very difficult.
For anyone seeking some protection from large one off expenses for health not covered by Medicare and public hospitals - private insurance is the current option that provides the most certainty.
The system is not perfect.
The systems of patient record keeping within both the public and private systems are fragmented.
For older Australians the transition overtime from paper to digital records has seen many complaints of lost history.
For younger Australians the digital systems vary from practice to practice, State to State, and don’t readily follow. Important given the changing economic outcomes that favour flexibility/uncertainty over stability of employment.
In looking to other nations.
How many in their public funded systems deliver an equal level of service and health outcomes?
How many provide access to all on the same basis?
How many exempt all those earning below similar thresh-holds of income from paying towards their universal health care system?
For Australia’s major issues with Indigenous health outcomes do others do it better?