Essay on The Concept of Equity of Access in the Australian Healthcare System

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Pages: 13

The Australian health care system is founded on the concept of equity of access. Discuss this statement with relation to the concepts of effectiveness and efficiency and any interrelationships that may exist.

Equity of access, as stated in National Health Reform Agreement, is one of the fundamental bases of the Australian Health care system (DHA 2013a). Other elementary aspects of the Australian health care system also cover effectiveness, which focuses on ratio of outputs to outcomes, and efficiency, which is defined as achieving maximum outputs with available inputs or resources. Those three represent ideal health system, which should be effective and efficient, and able to achieve the specified outcomes (efficacy) in
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Australia is one of countries with the highest life expectancies, ranked sixth in both male and female life expectancy at birth in 2009, with 80 years for male and 84 for female (AIHW 2012a, p. 121; 2012b, p. 6). While there are some hopeful accomplishment and progression on many fronts, it is clear that in several aspects; Australia had some concerning matters and room for some improvements, for instance, growing in obesity rates, diabetes, cancer, and mental health (AIHW 2012b, p. 21-27).

One of several approaches that have been taken by the Australian government to address the challenge in effectiveness of health care delivery is programs on public health. Public health encompasses actions which comprise health protection; disease, injury and disability prevention; and health promotion (including attempts on encouraging healthy lifestyle and developing healthier societies) to the whole population (AIHW 2012a, p. 481; AIHW 2012c, p. 73; Duckett & Willcox 2011, p. 129). Palmer and Short (2010, p. 227) argue that awareness of the importance of public health raise from the fact that clinical medicine has limitations in dealing with diseases which are associated to social, environmental and behavioural factors, such as heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Knowing the vast growth of such diseases in Australia, the country’s health agencies have affirmed their commitments to public health, both financially and organisationally. Their commitments