What can Australia teach us about health

We will analyse the Australian National Health System and find out what it can teach our country

Written Thursday, by Emanuele Mortarotti

Welcome back to a new appointment with the news on the Dispotech, your disposable excellence. Today, thanks to the support of an article published on vox.com, we will analyse the Australian National Health System and find out what it can teach our country and what are the strengths and weaknesses that distinguish it.

When analysing the Australian NHS, we are faced with something unusual: a hybrid between a public system and one built on the model of that of the United States. The state guarantees citizens basic medical assistance service, but strongly encourages them to take out private insurance that will supplement (and strengthen) public services.

All citizens receive state coverage as regards hospital admissions, specialist visits, prescription drugs. The cost of access to these services with public insurance is low. At the same time, the state advises citizens to organise themselves with private insurance: an initiative called Lifetime Health Cover invites Australian citizens to obtain private insurance from a young age. Doing it as an adult (or worse still as an elderly person, when more care is required) means incurring high premiums: 2% for each year spent as "uninsured". For example, a person who takes out private insurance at age 40 would pay 20% more than someone who took out the same insurance 10 years earlier. For those with low incomes, on the other hand, public subsidies exist to lower the price of public insurance plans.


The Australian health system, on a massive scale, works and has excellent feedback from citizens: it is possible to consult the data of the Commonwealth Fund rankings of international health care system to understand it.

There are, of course, problems and weaknesses - which are a constant subject of analysis by the government and national health summits. The biggest disparities obviously concern the speed of public services compared to those supported by private ones. Those who have a public plan are forced to wait long - it is not the same for those who own a private insurance.

Everyone has the right to the same access to health and medical services: income cannot and must not be a reason for disparity. This is one of the big problems in Australia; constantly monitored, but still present.


What do you think of this national health system that "mixes" public and private? Do you think it could work in Italy? Is there anything you would embrace (or eliminate) from one or the other national health systems? Tell us what you think by contacting the Dispotech team.

Emanuele Mortarotti
Author Emanuele Mortarotti


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