Learning from Australia's Health System

Australia’s healthcare system is one of the most comprehensive in the world, offering a range of services from general to preventative health, through to treating more complication conditions and providing specialist services. Australia achieves considerably better health outcomes than the UK, in areas including cancer, stroke and cardiology.

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The synergy between Australia’s federal, state and local governments creates the backbone of its comprehensive healthcare framework. Collaborative efforts extend to supporting and regulating private health insurance, monitoring the efficiency of public hospitals, funding medical research and subsidising aged care services, among other initiatives.

Amid the challenges posed by the pandemic, Australia spearheaded a robust drive for digital health innovation, recognising the potential of technology in enhancing the healthcare landscape and providing convenient, personalised and quality care. One significant outcome of this is My Health Record, an electronic record created by the Australian Digital Health Agency to track health information and collate health summaries in one easily accessible place.  Australia can be seen as a pioneer for digital health innovation and health tech development, with emerging organisations like Coviu, CardiHab and Clinicea changing the game in digital health.

In both Australia and the UK there is room for improvement within the healthcare system, especially when it comes to growing challenges like an ageing population and managing chronic conditions. The latter is an area in which the UK leads, with lower hospitalisation rates for people with chronic and long-term conditions. Leveraging digital platforms like Tailored Talks promotes self-management, reduces health concerns and empowers patients to manage conditions at home, providing a solution to this problem.

Australia’s enthusiasm for employing digital solutions across its ecosystem should be admired, learned from and replicated in the UK and beyond. In order to address the biggest challenges within healthcare we must take notes from Australia and make room for new innovation and collaboration.