Top Healthcare Issues in Australia

Do you know that the healthcare system in Australia is one of the most admired in the world? Being employed for decades now, the system has seen the support of authorities, the states and the Australian people-a big difference from the current U.S. health system that is still under debate. Notably, with the help of the national government and the individual states, you are able to provide one of the best healthcare services in the world. This is proven by the continuous high average life expectancy and the low infant death rates in the country year after year.

However, just like anything else, the Australian healthcare system also faces tough challenges; issues that, no matter how faultless the system may seem, are bound to arise. While these issues may seem inevitable, with further development and research, the Department of Health and Ageing may find solutions to these problems.

The following are the Top Healthcare Issues facing Australia today.

Indigenous Health

One of the biggest challenges in the healthcare system of Australia is the low health services offered to Aboriginal Australians. Statistics indicate that these nationals are far less healthy than the rest of the Australian community. The mortality rate of Aboriginal Australians, especially those in Torres Strait Island, is two to four times higher than non-Indigenous Australians.

The average age of death is also considerably younger than those living in the city. According to a study published by the World Health Organization, in 2003 the median age for death in Indigenous men averaged 46.3 years in the Northern Territory and 56.8 years old in New South Wales. Women death age range from 50 years old in South Australia to 62.1 years in Queensland-a big letdown from the average 81.9 years old of the entire country.

The leading cause of death for indigenous men and women is cardiovascular diseases, which includes heart disease and stroke. This is followed by injuries (for men), malignant neoplesia, respiratory diseases and endocrine, nutritional and metabolic disorders.

Cost of New Medical Technology

The continuous development of medical technology has been astounding. New machines are regularly being discovered that advance the field of healthcare to greater heights. But just as well, these technologies post greater costs not only to the government but to the society at-large. Medical advances such as radiological scanners, non-invasive surgical equipment and many more, come at considerable hefty costs. With this, the Department of Health and Ageing faces tough decisions as to where and to whom such expenses must be applied.

Placing these costly but needed technological devices on the current healthcare system, Medicare, or on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will definitely increase the availability of these advancements to the public; however, it will also certainly raise the costs for Australians. On the other hand, not employing such advancements will raise questions, if not debates, as to why these devices are not available in the country. This will generate heated discussions and inquiries as to where the healthcare budget is being allocated to.

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Five Trends to Note in Healthcare Marketing

Gone are the days of healthcare advertising consisting of free samples, branded note pads, a print ad or celebrity spokes person. These elements are still at play, but like its consumers, healthcare providers of all types are becoming savvy, technology reliant and multi-lingual.

Baby Boomers
Baby boomers are the largest users of healthcare in America, simply due to the sheer population size of their generation. Baby boomers aren’t aging, they’re getting better and don’t let a number dictate their actions or lifestyles. Just as baby boomers remain dynamic and active, healthcare advertising is too. Arthritis medication ads feature active seniors; established and trusted brands feature baby boomers and are updating packaging to be more senior friendly; celebrity spokes people are themselves members of the baby boom generation they market to.

Racial Diversity
Just as baby boomers dictate much of healthcare advertising trends, so do members of growing racial and ethnic groups. No longer are healthcare studies, recommendations and ads centered on middle class, middle aged Caucasian males. Healthcare companies know that differences in race, ethnicity, gender and socio-economic status bring about different healthcare concerns and issues. Research studies designed to understand how health is affected by these differences affect how care, prevention, medicine and medical providers are advertised to the target audience.

Multi-Lingual Advertising
The concept of advertising and creating healthcare sites in more than one language is new and healthcare companies are beginning to see the benefits. By knowing their target audience and its concerns, advertisers can create media, social media, websites and traditional advertising in a variety of languages. The most popular languages are Spanish, Chinese and Korean. These groups are some of the fastest growing in America and although English is not always a second language, they are often bilingual.

Technology
Healthcare and healthcare advertising are no exceptions to the growing dominance of technology in our everyday lives. No longer do consumers go to a self-diagnosis book on the shelf, but now to that book’s website. They also may find themselves at a hospital’s, doctor’s, or drug company’s site, not only finding the answer to the question at hand, but ongoing care, prevention and next steps. Websites, like TV and print ads, showcase patients of all ages, races and ethnicities. They offer information on treating the whole patient, not just the symptoms at hand. Consumers may find themselves going back to the same site or following hyperlinks to partner products and companies.

Smart Phones and Apps
We are all on the go, all the time. Our smart phones (and tablets) keep us connected at all times to the news, our lives and each other. Our smart phones and tablets also keep us connected to our health. Many healthcare companies have developed apps to help consumers track anything and everything from calories, medication, exercise, blood pressure and nearly any other health stat possible. They also utilize advertising on free apps for their products. The use of smart phones, tablets and applications is one of the most lucrative for health care advertising.

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