The Healthcare System Of Australian
The healthcare system of Australian Society has evolved greatly overtime due to several influences including political aspects and historical aspects. The Medicare society along with technology within the healthcare systems have both had an outstanding impact to the system as well as the community. Medicare has given Australians the ability to access healthcare facilities for a subsidised or free cost allowing many more Australians to stay healthy. Technology has also advanced overtime, allowing for more accurate decisions and findings to be made. The purpose of this essay is to research how exactly, these two particular aspects have advanced helped shape the healthcare system over the many years and how they impact a nurses work in the past, present and in future.
Medicare is a healthcare service that offers a wide range of medical services including doctors, specialists, dentists, hospitals, medical prescriptions and more for a subsidized or free charge. (Australian Government Department of Human Services, 2017). Ever since the year 1908, the Medicare system has continued to improve the healthcare system more and more continuing to offer more benefits to the community. In 1975, the service of Medibank was introduced by the Whitlam government and was up and running on the 1st of July, 1975 (Health direct, 2017). Medibank decided that 2.5% of a person’s income was taxed and taken by the government in order to fund the Medibank system. The Medibank system eventually changed names to Medicare which is known to cover only 75% of service and procedure fees. This is only the case if the patient is in a private hospital or private setting. However, this cost percentage of 75% excludes areas such as accommodation in the facilities, surgery fees and any medication’s that would be necessary (Health direct, 2017). On the other hand, the public health system became free of charge for all patients, excluding the use of medications bought and surgery fees.
During the 19th century access to healthcare was extremely private and the quality of care depended on where you lived, your education, level of income and your background (The National Museum of Australia, 2017). It was to the point, if you ever became sick and could not afford a doctor, friends, family and the chemist were relied on greatly for curing (The National Museum of Australia, 2017). During this time, the hospital was the last place of resort for many people in the community. In 1908, the government introduced the pension payment for people of old age, allowing them to still make money when they became too unfit to be employed (The National Museum of Australia, 2017). Then in 1912, the introduction of a maternity allowance occurred, allowing pregnant women to be paid whilst having time off work. Finally, in 1945 payment benefits for the unemployed and sick were introduced (The National Museum of Australia, 2017). Overall, the government and Medicare worked together to make sure all groups of people in the society were able to live comfortably no matter the circumstance.
Throughout the 20th century, society began to form their views on the issue of having to pay for their own personal healthcare access. They formed their opinion based on personal religions and cultural beliefs. Nowadays, the whole of the Australian society has access to the Medicare system, allowing them to have free or discounted healthcare (The National Museum of Australia, 2017). By having access to this service, a significantly greater number of people are able to look after their health properly and have no concerns about the cost or the money they need to save in order to do so. With more people receiving the health they need, the average lifespan of the humans has increased meaning people are able to live much longer than they used to. In future, the health care provisions of Australia will go under stress as the costs of age care increases along with the amount of diseases throughout the Australian society (The National Museum of Australia, 2017). It can be assumed that in future, the limitations within the Medicare system will rise as the costs of healthcare facilities rise meaning the system will not allow as high of a percentage to be used.
Medicare has affected not only the whole of the Australian society, but also the nurses within each facility wherever that may be. With many more people receiving healthcare at a low or free cost, nurses are receiving more and more patients than ever before as people are taking advantage of the Medicare system. This means that nurses are ‘busier’ than ever before and every single one of them is needed and maybe even more.
Along with the Medicare system, technology has also had a significant effect on the contemporary healthcare system of Australia ever since the 19th century. Technology itself is taking over the healthcare system however the practitioners must understand it in order to confront the challenges that they come across (Barnard & Cushing). Before the 20th century, any technical knowledge was based on the idea of trial and error. The accurate findings were then passed through each generations through practical and oral culture however these findings were not always correct (Barnard & Cushing). Throughout the 19th century nurses and other healthcare professional relied on experience and their own faith, meaning they did not rely on the scientific knowledge, but relied on their own personal understanding that was developed through their practices (Barnard & Cushing). This brought upon many challenges and sometimes wrong decisions, harming the patient in some way.
The 20th century brought upon many changes and advances to the healthcare system of Australia. It was suggested that there were three main periods of advancement in technology that brought upon outraging changes to the healthcare system (Daly, Speedy & Jackson, 2014). The first period being 1950-65 where basic new techniques were introduced including manual heart rate monitoring and thermometer improvement (Daly, Speedy & Jackson, 2014). The second time period was years, 1965-180 where automated equipment use became more popular and there was greater knowledge and specialisation in the area gained (Daly, Speedy & Jackson, 2014). With the practitioners having a greater understanding and greater knowledge, they were able to retrieve more accurate results and data on their patients. The last stage of technology was founded in 1980-90 where there was a significant increase in technical control and care for patients (Daly, Speedy & Jackson, 2014). During this third stage of technology, equipment such as automated pumps and monitoring machines were introduced (Daly, Speedy & Jackson, 2014).
There are many examples of technology progression including heart rate monitors, automated pumps, digitalized records etc. All which have developed overtime, making human contact in healthcare settings extremely limited (Banova, 2015). Before technology existed, healthcare was completely manual, where blood pressures, heart rates and injections were conducted by hand (Banova, 2015). For nurses in the health care facilities, this was very time consuming, however today, with the huge advancement in technology, the nurses are able to multi-task and take care of double the amount of patients in a short period of time, rather than one at a time (Banova, 2015).
With the use of technology becoming more and more popular, the tasks nurses complete are becoming easier and easier for them, however it may be limiting the personal relationship between them and their patients (Powell-Cope, Nelson & Patterson, 2018). The use of technology within hospitals is the primarily the main source of function, which means that manual handling for the nurses within the workplace is minimal. This can limit the face to face care between the patient and nurse, possibly causing harm in the emotional aspect (Powell-Cope, Nelson & Patterson, 2018). Overall, the advancement in technology within the healthcare system has had both advantages and disadvantages in regards to the patients care and safety.
To conclude, the evolution of the Australian healthcare system has been caused by many influences. In particular, political and historical aspects. Medicare is a political society that assists with the payment of healthcare for everyone country – wide. The system has had a major influence as it has allowed many more people to access and look after their health than ever before due to the subsidised or free cost. Secondly, technology is the historical aspect that has influenced healthcare today. Technology has allowed health care practitioners, nurses etc. to conduct more studies and gather precise and accurate data from their studies or their patients which leads to accurate decisions. It can be assumed that both influences will continue to help improve healthcare in future.