A Comparative Study on the Healthcare System of Australia

This paper intends to highlight on the healthcare system of Australia. The healthcare system of Australia has been compared with that of the US healthcare system. In this context, the paper has also emphasised on the funding system for both Australian and US healthcare system. Based on this analysis, a planning for developing a healthcare program has also been formulated.
Introduction
The healthcare system in Australia is characterised by multi-layer sharing of responsibility and funding which comes from the government of Australia, individuals and private insurance companies. However, Australian healthcare system can be treated as a tax-funded system (Australia’s Health, 2014b). The government has introduced subsidised medical services which can be availed by the citizens of the country through a scheme of national health insurance. The private sector has a great share in healthcare system of Australia which includes hospitals, diagnostics and insurance funds (Healy, Sharman and Lokuge, 2006). The Australian healthcare system faces the outcomes of the negotiations between the government and public and private stakeholders (Dwyer and Eagar, 2008). One of the many concerns within the healthcare system of Australia is that there is a wide gap between the indigenous populations with the non-indigenous populations in terms of health indicators (The Commonwealth Fund, 2016a).
This paper focuses on the various aspects of the healthcare system of Australia and compares it with the healthcare system of USA (United States of America).
Comparison of Australian health care with health care of USA
A number of differences were noticed while comparing the healthcare systems of USA and Australia. The differences were primarily concerned with complex models of medical care and practices. The main characteristics of Australian healthcare system are the presence of ‘Medicare’ which was formerly known as ‘Medibank’ (SBS, 2014). It provides a universal healthcare insurance system which covers the treatment cost in public hospitals by the Australian government. Under this system, Australian citizen can get rebate while opting for medical consultations and other clinical investigations. It is funded through a mix of general revenue and ‘Medicare Levy’ (1.5% of the taxable income or 2.5% for those falling under the category of high-income group and those who are not protected under private healthcare) (SBS, 2014).
Features of Medicare in Australia
• Consultation fees of doctors’ and specialists’.
• Charges of the medical tests and examinations as per doctors’ prescriptions.
• Expenses in order to carry out optical tests by optometrists.
• Fees of most of the surgical procedures.
• (The benefits paid to the patients are 85% of the fees that are listed under Medicare Benefits Schedule) (SBS, 2014)
Features of Obamacare
• Elimination of lifetime and unreasonable annual limits on benefits.
• Recessions of health insurance policy
• Assisting those without a healthcare insurance.
• Extending coverage of preventive services and immunizations.
• Changing dependant coverage till the age of 26.
• Development of uniform coverage documents.
• Cap on non-medical administrative expenditure
• Establishment of internet portal for all information related to insurance policies and coverage.
• Lowering healthcare cost (Democratic Policy Committee, 2013).

Major metropolitan areas in Australia are dominated by privately funded healthcare system. Approximately, 40% of the population have insurance from private companies. People who are holders of private healthcare insurance have the opportunity of choosing their hospitals and doctors (Jones, et al., 2011).


A Comparative Study on the Healthcare System of Australia

Type: Assignment
Domain: Healthcare Policies
Words: 2126
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