The coronovirus could be in its own class by comparison, with Australia’s health system and its medical systems, the Government says.
Key points: Australia’s healthcare system is a major contributor to the overall health costs of the countryThe Health Services Minister says Australia is well placed to be a leader in the global fight against the pandemic Australia’s economy has seen a steady rise in the number of people infected since the first case in late March, with more than 5,000 Australians having been infected since then.
The health system is Australia’s main contributor to health care costs, costing an estimated $14 billion a year.
And the Government is warning of a global pandemic in which the virus could spread rapidly.
“We have been prepared to make a substantial contribution to that global effort,” Health Minister Sussan Ley told the ABC.
“It’s important to remember that there is a global community effort.
We have to be part of that effort.”
In Australia, the majority of healthcare costs are borne by the Government, which pays about 90 per cent of all healthcare costs, while the rest is paid by the States.
But the Government has been under pressure to increase the amount it spends on healthcare in response to the coronaviral crisis.
Health Minister Sessan Ley says Australia’s medical system is well positioned to be the world’s leader in tackling the pandemics.
“I think we’re well placed in that regard,” she said.
“In terms of the health system, it’s been one of the best performing systems in the world, I think for the last number of years.”
The Minister says there is “no question” the country is prepared for the potential for an international pandemic.
“The challenge for us is to maintain the level of service we are receiving from Australia’s private health systems and the Commonwealth,” she told the program.
“There’s no doubt about that.”
But the challenge for Australia is to continue to deliver the quality of healthcare that we are providing to Australians.
“Dr Ley said the Government was investing $12 billion in health infrastructure.”
That’s a lot of money, particularly in a world of huge changes and we need to make sure we are doing that, she said, adding that she was confident the funding would be sufficient.
“If the funding is not there we will not have a robust response to a global health emergency.”
Dr Hensley, a medical student from the University of New South Wales, said the coronivirus could help Australia’s hospitals.
“They will have the capacity to respond to an emergency that may arise, or it could be something like a coronaviruses response to another pandemic, which would be really nice,” she added.
“Australia is a nation of very talented people, and so if they are prepared and can do that and do it effectively, then we are all in good shape.”
Dr Andrew Gill, an infectious disease expert from the Australian National University, said while the Government had been “trying to get the funding for health in the public sector, it is not a problem”.
“It is important to note that there are already $7.5 billion in government funding allocated to the health sector, and this will increase to $8 billion,” Dr Gill said.
“The funding is a relatively small proportion of the total cost of healthcare.”
As an Australian, I would be surprised if the Government didn’t take a more active role in this effort.
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Follow the latest developments in coronavious diseases with the ABC’s coronaviolosis live blog.