Characteristics of consumers of health care
The health system is used to varying degrees by Australian citizens, overseas visitors, temporary and permanent visa holders and asylum-seekers (Luke & Shelton, 2006). Their needs and expectations are shaped by many factors, including the nature and extent of their health status, as well as factors such as age, gender, where they live and their cultural background.
Characteristics of the providers of health care
About 37.5 percent of medical practitioners are GPs in private practice, 35 percent are specialists, and 13.8 percent are specialists in training. Most medical practitioners and allied health practitioners are in private practice and ...view middle of the document...
The Australian government administers the compulsory national health insurance scheme, Medicare, previously a statutory authority and now a government agency. Medicare is funded mostly from gen¬eral revenue and in part by a 1.5 percent levy on taxable income, although some low-income individuals are exempt or pay a reduced levy. Medicare defines the reimbursement level for listed items (the Medicare schedule fee) but medical practitioners remain free to set their fees. GPs and specialists charge a fee-for-service. Patients are reimbursed by Medicare, unless the medi¬cal practitioner bulk bills Medicare and accepts the schedule fee (Boyd & Sheen, 2014).. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs covers eligible veterans and their dependents by directly purchasing public and private health care services.
Characteristics of health care regulation
The Australian health system is widely regarded as being world-class, in terms of both its effectiveness and efficiency. All levels of government – plus consumers and the non-government sector – have some role in funding, administering or providing care for older people. Residential aged care is financed and regulated by the Commonwealth Government and provided mainly by the non-government sector (Boyd & Sheen, 2014). The Commonwealth has developed a broad policy of leadership and financing in health matters and focuses on the areas of public health, research and national information management while the states and territories are largely responsible for the delivery of public sector health services and the regulation of health workers in the public and private sectors. The states and territories deliver public acute and psychiatric hospital services including school health, dental health, maternal and child health and environmental health programs.
The system is a mixture of public and private sector health service providers and a range of funding and regulatory mechanisms: (1) the Australian Government, with the primary role of developing broad national policies, regulation and funding (Boyd & Sheen, 2014). (2) state and territory and local governments who are primarily responsible for the delivery and management of public health services and for maintaining direct relationships with most healthcare providers, including regulation of health professionals and private hospitals (3) private practitioners including general practitioners, specialists and consultant physicians (4)For-profit and non-profit organizations and voluntary agencies. (5) The Australian Government’s funding includes three...