13 October 2017 - For all its faults, for all the times that things don’t go as planned, Australia’s health system is world class.
Our health practitioners are among the best. We have some of the most modern facilities, access to cutting-edge technology, new drugs and therapies, all underpinned by rigorous quality controls. Universal healthcare has generally served us well and other countries often look to us for inspiration.
This year the Commonwealth Fund, a US-based foundation, analysed health system performance among 11 wealthy nations and ranked Australia second overall behind Britain, and first for healthcare outcomes and administrative efficiencies. Our life expectancy is among the highest in the OECD. Other measures suggest a reasonable balance between access and cost.
The key to maintaining positive outcomes is reporting on results, identifying weaknesses and constantly striving to improve them. While some want to name and shame poor performers, more secretive approaches also deliver results.