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Australia 2nd best in global healthcare rankings

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Australia 2nd best in global healthcare rankings

US think tank The Commonwealth Fund, has just released its much anticipated 2017 annual study of 11 national healthcare systems across the developed world, with very good news for Australia.

According to their researchers, Australia has the 2nd best healthcare system, only surpassed in the top place by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) which is completely free of charge to every UK citizen.

However, we did rank number one on the specific measures of administrative efficiency and overall health outcomes – meaning the land down under is arguably the healthiest place on earth! So what makes our healthcare system and overall standard of health amongst the world’s very best?

HealthBuzz have taken a close look and found the following reasons amongst others:

Universal Public Access to Quality Healthcare Through Medicare

Australia scored 4th on the measure of Access which covers affordability of care and the timeliness of care. Put simply, Australia’s government-funded Medicare system which guarantees basic healthcare to all Australian citizens and permanent residents in public hospitals, ensures money is not an object when it comes to accessing treatment.

With basic treatments including emergency department visits, immunisations and preventative procedures generally completely free-of-charge and bulk-billing GP clinics offering free consultations and check-ups, the foundations for building a healthy population, unencumbered by ruinous medical bills are solid.

A Centralised, Well Understood System for Delivering Healthcare Services

Medicare not only provides universal basic health insurance for all Australian citizens and permanent residents, it also operates an efficient payments system for healthcare professionals including GPs, surgeons, and other medical specialists.

Receiving payment for providing a service is simply a matter of filling out a standardised online form and receiving immediate reimbursement from Medicare – who also set standard fees for common medical procedures and treatments to keep costs low.

This efficient system cuts down on the paperwork healthcare practitioners in other nations face in dealing with multiple providers, not to mention costly disputes surrounding unpaid medical bills.

A Strong Focus on Preventative, Primary Healthcare

Another area where Australia punches above our weight is on the criteria of Care Process where we come in at number two.

This measure, which covers preventative care measures, safety of care, care coordination and patient-practitioner engagement can be seen in the strong emphasis placed on primary healthcare by the Medicare system.

In other words, every Australian is encouraged to form a long-term relationship with a local GP (General Practitioner) who can act as their gateway into other areas of the healthcare system, keeping an eye on their health through regular check-ups and referring them to other specialists where necessary.

Each state and territory government (who are responsible for operating our public hospitals) also run comprehensive immunisation programs for infants through to young adults, which of course are free-of-charge to members of the community.

Great Weather, Clean Air & an Active Lifestyle

Last but not least, it doesn’t hurt that Australia generally enjoys a very agreeable climate with far milder winters than countries in the northern hemisphere and especially in the northern states, abundant sunshine all-year round.

This combined with fresh air thanks to our strict environmental standards and small population, not to mention our wealth of stunning and varied scenery makes for an active population who embrace sport and physical activity to a greater extent than other societies.

Whilst we can thank Medicare for giving us universal access to high quality public healthcare, our high life expectancy of 82.2 years is a result of both this and our many natural blessings.

Our healthcare system may not be perfect, with dental care still outside the remit of Medicare and quite expensive, along with certain pharmaceutical products. Nonetheless, us Aussies can rejoice is enjoying remarkably good health when compared to many others!