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Australia’s doctors call for overhaul of ‘sick care’ system

australian Medical Association (AMA) president Steve Robson.(photo:

Canberra, June 14 (IANS)¬†Australia’s peak doctors’ body on Wednesday called for a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system to place greater emphasis on preventative care.

In a speech to the National Press Club on Wednesday, Australian Medical Association (AMA) president Steve Robson said that leaders must reconsider how they think about healthcare investment, reports Xinhua news agency.

He described the current system as one of “sick care” rather than one focused on keeping Australians well, increasing pressure on hospitals.

According to Robson, a significant boost in spending on preventative care would reap in benefits for the economy.

The speech coincided with the release of a new AMA report showing that public hospital elective surgery waiting lists cost the Australian economy A$4.6 billion ($3.1 billion) annually.

The report highlights the growing rate of chronic disease, with almost half the population in the country having one or more chronic diseases and an aging population that is putting the healthcare system under increasing pressure.

“As the AMA analysis uncovered, we currently have hundreds of thousands of people waiting too long for elective surgery, people waiting too long in emergency departments and general practices struggling to survive,” Robson said in a statement.

“While it’s true that investment is needed to tackle these issues, we can also improve efficiency, improve access to care and the quality of care.”

The AMA report said that addressing hospital exit block could save A$2 billion per year, and modelling estimated that a tax on sugary drinks, which it has long campaigned for, would result in 16,000 fewer cases of type 2 diabetes, 4,400 fewer cases of heart disease, and 1,100 fewer cases of stroke.

“We need to reframe our thinking and focus more on how the money we invest in healthcare can improve health outcomes and support economic growth,” Robson said.

“Because the evidence is clear — keeping people healthy reduces the costs and burden on our healthcare system and drives economic growth and productivity.”

Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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