Australia boasts one of the finest healthcare systems in the world. The system is both privatised and public, providing healthcare to all.
Medicare is the public healthcare system. It is funded through a tax-levy from all taxpayers. The fee is 1.5%, but this can be lowered for low-income residents and raised for high-income residents who do not also hold private insurance.
Through the Medicare program, the government pays a much of the cost of health services. The individual pays for the remaining fee for the healthcare services. Some healthcare providers offer bulk billing, which is similar to a copay, in which the patient is not required the pay extra fees. Additionally, private health insurance can help cover the remaining costs.
The private healthcare system in Australia features a number of competitive, private insurance companies. Medibank Private is owned by the Australia government, but acts as a private insurance company. Some of the private companies are for profit, while others are nonprofit. Some insurance companies cover all Australians, while other focus on specific people groups or regions.
While in many countries, insurance premiums are dependent on such factors as age, current health and preexisting ailments. Conversely, there is an extended waiting period for coverage for these people, including waiting times of up to twelve months. Australians are encouraged by the government to take out hospital insurance as well.
The public system for medications and prescriptions is the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. This system allows for Australians to have access to subsidised medications. There is also a National Immunisation Program Schedule through which people in Australia are able to receive immunisations for free.
Australian males have an average life expectancy of 77.0 years and females have a life expectancy of 82.4 years. These indications, as well as the low infant mortality rate, are indicators of the high level of healthcare found in Australia. Stacked up against other developed nations, Australia’s healthcare system ranks towards the top in many categories. The dual system of public and private healthcare allows for quality healthcare for all residents, whether low or high income. Healthcare initiatives work towards innovations and the advancement of healthcare.