Australia's Health and Hospital Reform Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

These insights from the Simulation were meant to be a valuable contribution and reference for the effective implementation of Australia's health reform agenda, according to AHHA director Prue Power (AHHA).

Implications on the Medical Devices Industry

The Reform Plan may also trigger a series of swift market changes for this industry (MedicExchange, 2010). A Frost and Sullivan consultant projected that the U.S.$2.3-billion medical devices market would grow at an estimated 9% between 2009 and 2012. Approximately U.S.$98 billion was spent on healthcare goods and services in 2009 alone. . Government funding for healthcare steadily increased to respond to the need for better services especially to the ageing population and increasing rates of chronic disease. The consultant predicted that the Reform Plan would open many new growth opportunities for medical device companies. He foresaw the market achieving roughly U.S.$3 billion by this year. The Reform Plan will invest in primary and sub-acute care to reduce preventable hospital admissions, increase health awareness, improve healthcare infrastructure and improve access to emergency departments. About U.S.$530 million of the total budget has been reserved for the purchase of medical equipment, machines, the hiring of more physicians, adding more beds, providing more training and the like in order to reduce waiting time for elective surgery for four years. Other factors like increasing healthcare costs, the ageing population, high prevalence of chronic disease, rising need for personalized care and technological advances will fuel the growth the medical devices industry. Healthcare expenditures for those 65 years and older will be seven times today's level 40 years from now. The Commonwealth's health spending should rise to more than 200 Australian dollars by 2050 (MedicExchange).

Expansion in exports will also power the growth of the medical devices industry, which is extremely trade-oriented (MedicExchange, 2010). More than 90% of the country's domestic demands for medical devices is met by both imports and exports of 90% of products manufactured in Australia. Two such companies are Cochlear and ResMed with their niche products and innovativeness. The development of biotechnology and nanotechnology will lead to new materials and devices for medical and diagnostic use. The industry has high levels of research and development expenditure and tight collaboration with the health and medical systems, educational and health institutions. Increasing healthcare costs, landmark healthcare reforms since Medicare, billowing exports and technological advances will altogether accrue to the sustainable growth of the industry. At the same time, these will create opportunities for the creation of cardiovascular devices, surgical equipment and devices, point-of-care diagnostics, and homecare and non-hospital devices, the consultant added (MediExchange).

Advantages and Disadvantages

Publicly-funded healthcare delivery systems are universal healthcare systems (Mission, 2012). Opponents call them socialized medicine systems but proponents call them national healthcare service systems. Such a system provides health care for all citizens of a given political entity. A universal healthcare system, as the name implies, is supplied and operated by a government. But in some, the health care may be publicly funded but private firms extend most of the medical services. Otherwise, the healthcare system allows private providers to offer their resources so that the individual may have the choice between private and public care. But this does not exempt private customers from paying taxes and other costs for spending for public health care (Mission).

Funds in universal health care systems are accumulated differently (Mission, 2012). In the case of Australia, funding comes from general government revenues. Coverage also varies in countries. While Canada covers all hospital care expenses, Japan patients pay 10-30% of the costs; Belgium shoulders the majority of eye and dental costs, while Australia does not cover either. Most industrialized nations have some kind of publicly funded health care systems, which cover most if not the total population. Australia is one of these countries (Mission).

Universal health care systems are lauded for their equality (Mission, 2012). But countries with these systems allow corresponding private health care providers to create a two-part healthcare system: one for wealthy citizens who pay for private and higher-costing quality care. The other is for those who receive public care. Opponents say that the system's cost-efficiency produces lower quality and less than responsive care. Doctors hired by the system are also paid less. The result is a decrease in medical innovativeness and inventiveness (Mission).


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Mission, C. (2012). Universal healthcare facts. eHow: Demand Media, Inc. Retrieved on April 13, 2012 from

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