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Healthcare System and Insurance in Australia from OECD

From the OECD Better Life Index about Health in Australia:

Most OECD countries have enjoyed large gains in life expectancy over the past decades, thanks to improvements in living conditions, public health interventions and progress in medical care. Life expectancy at birth in Australia stands at 82 years, two years above the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 84 years, compared with 80 for men, a slightly smaller difference than the average OECD gender gap of six years, with a life expectancy of 83 years for women and 77 years for men.



Higher life expectancy is generally associated with higher healthcare spending per person, although many other factors such as living standards, lifestyles, education and environmental factors have an impact on life expectancy. Total health spending accounts for 8.9% of GDP in Australia, less than the 9.4% OECD average. However, Australia ranks above the OECD average in terms of total health spending per person, at 3 800 USD in 2010, compared with an OECD average of 3 322 USD. Between 2000 and 2009, total health spending in Australia increased in real terms by 4.2% per year on average, a growth rate similar to the OECD average of 4.0%.


Better Policies for Better Lives


Improving the healthcare system

Australia’s universal health care system is one of the best in the world. The rapidly growing ageing population and the increasing frequency of chronic conditions, however, are increasing its cost.

The ambitious national eHealth agenda aims to increase consumers’ engagement and control over their medical information. It includes the development of a Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR), a digital web-based collection of a patient’s medical history. It would include copies of medical records, reports about diagnosed medical conditions, medication, vital signs, immunisations, laboratory results, and personal characteristics like age and weight.

The introduction of a PCEHR for each Australian is an important opportunity to improve the quality and safety of health care, reduce waste and inefficiency, and improve continuity and health outcomes for patients. Giving people better access to their own health information through a PCEHR is also essential to promoting consumer participation, and supporting self-management and informed decision-making.


For more information about the health system, travel and medical insurance in Australia for international students, immigrants, temporary workers and visitors click through link.

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