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Within a health economic framework, discuss and analyse one chronic disease issue and the possible future implications and impact that they may have on the Australian Health Care System - Essay Example

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Australia’s public health framework focuses on disease prevention and promotion since 2001. The country’s model for chronic disease management aims to ensure delivery of care during the continuum. …
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Within a health economic framework, discuss and analyse one chronic disease issue and the possible future implications and impact that they may have on the Australian Health Care System
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Download file to see previous pages The country’s model for chronic disease management aims to ensure delivery of care during the continuum. Disease prevention strategy starts at the primary level in the healthy population, then to secondary prevention and early detection in the at-risk population and ends with disease management once disease is established besides management and tertiary prevention for people with complex chronic diseases. Although strategies may vary from region to region, they are characterized by the aims of improved access, reduced health inequalities and better outcomes for those with chronic diseases through the policies of self-care, continuity and quality of care (Snodden 2010). Chronic disease As defined by the World Health Organisation, a chronic disease is one, which is of permanent nature with residual disability and caused by irreversible pathological changes. 12 chronic diseases identified by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) as having a significant impact on the country’s health care system (Zwar, et al. 2006) are “coronary heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, depression, diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, oral diseases, arthritis and osteoporosis.” (Zwar, et al. 2006, 8). As already mentioned, chronic diseases are managed at primary care level by general practitioners and other professionals of primary health care with tie-ups with specialised agencies. The Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) report states that most of the above chronic disease are treated at the primary care level except lung cancer and colorectal cancer (Zwar, et al. 2006). Australia’s health system Australia’s health system is considered one of the best in the world with the country’s universal medical insurance scheme Medicare providing access to health care for all. Because of the robustness of the system, life expectancy has increased, childhood and maternal mortality rate, incidence of cancer and heart disease have reduced. Demographic changes to the population are characterised by the increase in the population of people over 65 years. Their population has been estimated at 2.9 million (13.3%) in 2009 as against 1.1 million (8.3 %) in 1971. In spite of the overall achievement, health status of the indigenous peoples is far below the status of mainstream communities. Thus, Australian health system is under constant challenges due to rise in demand, constrained capacity and insufficient health care professionals and infrastructure as are with any other industries such as banking, transport etc. Rise in demand is due to combination of factors such as higher expectations from the health seekers who are now better informed, increasing burden of diseases arising out of problems affluent living conditions attendant with risk factors, increased life span and people’s ability to use advancements in the medical field. These problems of plenty are responsible for ever increasing burden of chronic diseases that make up 70 % of Australia’s health burden which is expected to increase to 80 % by 2020 (Boyages 2010). Since cancer diseases especially lung cancer and colorectal cancer are not being managed at the primary care level, this paper will choose cancer as one chronic disease that is impacting on the country’s health care system. Cancer epidemiology AIHW reports that in 2007 alone new cancer cases diagnosed were about 108,368, 57 % of which were males. There is a risk for 1 in 3 in males and 1 in 4 in females to be diagnosed with cancer before they the age of 75 years. Most common types of cancer were prostate cancer (19,403 cases0, bowel cancer (14,243 cases), breast cancer (12,670 cases, skin cancer (10,432 cases) and lung cancer ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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