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All about Healthcare Reform

Reform simply pertains to changing things for the greater good. On the other hand, healthcare reform means that certain health policies and issues should be addressed and thereby altered so as to conform to the needs of the citizens. Such reform is usually mandated by the government.

The major objectives of healthcare reform:

1. To widen the population of healthcare recipients and beneficiaries (through public and private sectors insurance policies)

2. To provide a wide array of healthcare providers that individuals can choose from

3. To make health care specialists easier to access

4. To make sure that the quality of healthcare is enhanced

5. To make sure that the citizens are well taken care of

6. To lower down the rates and other expenditures involved in health care

Healthcare in Australia has been a longtime issue; an ongoing debate. Australians are given healthcare benefits that are provided by both private and non-private government institutions.

As of today, the current healthcare provider is Medicare. (This was first established in 1984.) Medicare is a publicly funded system that allows the citizens to sustain their healthcare needs at extremely low prices. Anyone covered by Medicare could rest assured that they would be able to enjoy paying less in contrast to those who would be paying the full amount of their medical bills given that they are not covered by the said healthcare provider.

Most governments around the world are continuously on the move in regards to reforming their respective healthcare systems. Given that Medicare in Australia enjoys extending their support to its citizens, it is nevertheless, under pressure due to the changing times, the demands of the people, the inevitable growth of chronic diseases, the rising expenditures on health-related concerns due to the development of sophisticated technologies, and the like. Studies show that the current healthcare system faces issues such as:

  • Deterioration of the quality of healthcare when there are other healthcare providers involved.
  • Lack of monetary incentives in order to deliver high quality healthcare services.
  • The association of public and private government sectors.
  • Cost shifting (wherein an insured individual is charged more than what an uninsured individual has to pay.)

Below are some of the major proposals to reform Australia’s healthcare system that have been deliberated on for decades:

a. The Podger Model: Proposed by Andrew Podger, this system states that the federal government should take over healthcare systems by allocating a regional budget for it. Healthcare providers that are under this model do not have to worry about changing their respective platforms. However, what they should be more concerned about is paying the hospitals according to the volume of patients rather than the volume of the materials and other resources that were used to treat them.

b. The Scotton Model: Proposed by Richard Scotton, this model aims to unite healthcare providers into one thereby allowing the government to take full responsibility on health. However, in order for it to be successful, Australia has to be divided into different health sectors. The designated regional budget holders are the ones responsible for contracting out the terms of health care services to those people who have registered themselves to receive such health benefits.