Current Topics and Trends in Australian Healthcare
The Australian Healthcare Index, and other APA surveys
The APA and Healthengine, co-presenters of the Australian Healthcare Index, met recently and have decided to move the Australian Healthcare Index survey from 6 monthly to annual, which will allow a stronger focus on trends.
Alongside the annual Australian Healthcare Index survey, the APA will be conducting other surveys which provide a deep dive into various current issues, and ensuring the government, healthcare services and the community have access to patient views on a range of issues. As first cab off the rank, the APA and Healthengine are using the findings from our recent survey, with over 9000 respondents, to create such a report. This report digs deep into patient concerns about the impact of cost of living pressures on healthcare.
MyMedicare is a new free voluntary patient registration model introduced on 1 October 2023 which allows you to register as a patient of your chosen clinic. The scheme is a gradual rollout over 3 years with more benefits coming into effect later. You can access additional benefits (and bulk billing for some), Medicare rebate for longer telehealth consultations and a way to formalise the relationship by seeing your regular GP which may lead to better health outcomes. MyMedicare registration will not prevent you from accessing care from other practices and healthcare providers. For more information click here.
Medicare Urgent care clinics
Medicare Urgent care clinics (UCCs) give patients more options than Emergency departments to see a doctor or nurse when you need urgent care which is not life-threatening illness or injury. These clinics are bulk billed and accept walk-ins and require no appointments or referrals and are open for extended hours, 7 days a week. The first clinic in South Australia, to be operated by the Elizabeth Medical and Dental Centre, started seeing patients for urgent care needs on 23 October 2023. Click here to see the list of UCCs already opened Australia-wide.
Carer inclusive Workplace Initiative
Partnering with Carers Australia, the Government has provided $2 million over three years to 2024-25 to deliver the Carer Inclusive Workplace Initiative. It will help employers develop and adopt practices that support employees with caring responsibilities, making their workplaces more inclusive for carers. The initiative aims to help Australia’s 2.65 million unpaid carers. For more information about the initiative, visit the Department of Social Services by clicking here.
Government flags health warning labels for alcoholic beverages
The federal government has flagged the possibility of putting health warning labels on alcohol products. It would be a similar campaign to the labels which still adorn cigarette packs, displaying potentially confronting images of the health risks associated with drinking. Click here to access the full article published in 9News on 20 October.
Hospital Care Experiences Survey
A joint research team from University of Queensland and University of Tasmania is conducting a nationwide online survey to reach patients and their informal carers (or care partners) to gather their insights on the hospital experiences and unmet needs following the introduction of the Comprehensive Care Standard in Australia. The survey is designed for anyone who attended a hospital in Australia for medical treatment/care in the last three months and their care partners, and it will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. It’s completely anonymous and confidential. Click here to take the survey.
Cardiovascular Endurance: Five Exercises to Push Yourself
Cardiovascular endurance is a measure of your physical fitness. Good endurance makes everyday activities such as climbing stairs or carrying groceries easier and less tiring. Cardiovascular endurance can be improved through regular exercise. For information on benefits and workouts to improve Cardiovascular endurance, read the article published in Verywell Health on 17 October by clicking here.
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