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Med J Aust. 2007 Nov 5;187(9):485-9.

Challenges in health and health care for Australia.

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Sydney Cancer Centre, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


The next Australian Government will confront major challenges in the funding and delivery of health care. These challenges derive from: Changes in demography and disease patterns as the population ages, and the burden of chronic illness grows; Increasing costs of medical advances and the need to ensure that there are comprehensive, efficient and transparent processes for assessing health technologies; Problems with health workforce supply and distribution; Persistent concerns about the quality and safety of health services; Uncertainty about how best to balance public and private sectors in the provision and funding of health services; Recognition that we must invest more in the health of our children; The role of urban planning in creating healthy and sustainable communities; and Understanding that achieving equity in health, especially for Indigenous Australians, requires more than just providing health care services. The search for effective and lasting solutions will require a consultative approach to deciding the nation's priority health problems and to designing the health system that will best address them; issues of bureaucratic and fiscal responsibility can then follow.

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