States Could Be Swamped By Spiraling Healthcare Costs – Kevin Rudd

by Gopalan on  January 26, 2010 at 1:15 PM General Health News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

 States Could Be Swamped By Spiraling Healthcare Costs – Kevin Rudd
Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has warned states were in danger of being swamped by spiralling health-care costs, which had risen by 11 per cent in the past five years while state revenues had only increased by 4 per cent in the same period.

''Forty years ago, Australian Government spending on health equated to 1.2 per cent of gross domestic product. In 2010, Australian Government health spending equates to 4 per cent of GDP, and the intergenerational report projects that it will rise to 7.1 per cent in 2050,'' he said Monday, while speaking in Sydney.

'In dollar terms, that's an increase of over $200billion by 2050 and equates to an increase in average Australian Government health spending per person in real terms from $2290 today to $7210 in 2050.''

''Rapidly rising health costs create a real risk, absent major policy change, state governments will be overwhelmed by their rising health spending obligations,' he said.

''If current spending and revenue trends continue, Treasury projects that the total health spending of all states will exceed 100 per cent of their tax revenues, excluding the GST, by around 2045-46 and possibly earlier in some states.

''Without reform, states' ability to provide the services they currently provide will be significantly strained.'

Mr Rudd said Australia's ageing population meant while at present there were five people working to support those over the age of 65, by 2050 that number would fall to 2.7 people.

As the population continued to age, health costs could spiral out of control unless steps were taken including major investment in infrastructure and health services to improve productivity and head off the rising cost of an ageing population, Mr Rudd said.

The Prime Minister also reiterated investment in education, infrastructure and increasing productivity would remain priorities for his Government.

Only the previous day, he had warned that the population would explode to 36 million by 2050, while the participation rate in the workforce would decline from 65 per cent to 60 per cent, it is projected.

That means more expenditure on aged pensions when tax generated will go down. A way out for ensuring a decent life for all - improved productivity and greater investments, argues Mr.Rudd.

Clearly by projecting himself as a visionary, with great concerns for the future, Mr. Rudd is getting ready for the elections next year, and he could be concentrating his efforts on the health front.

A major factor in his victory back in 2007 was the health plank, but he hasn't delivered much on that score, critics say. He is perhaps trying to make up for his own omissions now. 

Meantime South Australia's Health Minister John Hill has said the Federal Government should take over all health funding and leave running the system to the states.

Mr Hill said yesterday only the Commonwealth had the money to meet increasing need in the sector.

"The cost is growing so quickly that the states won't be able to continue to afford it," he said.

Mr Hill said the State and Federal governments used to split health costs about evenly, but that gradually the state's share had increased to about 60 per cent.

"We need to work out what's actually required, and then the funds need to flow and (the Federal Government) has the greatest capacity," he said.

"And the states have the capacity to run the services, provide them where they're needed. We're in a better place to do that."

Mr Hill conceded there would always be some need for federal control, such as for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Medicare, but that certainly hospitals should be entirely state-run.

The Australian Medical Association has backed the idea of having a single funder, because that makes one body responsible for the money. 

Source: Medindia

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

No doubt, longevity has increased by virtue of allopathy.In India the life span was 30 years before independence[1947] and now it increased to 62 years.Surgical interference, food and nutrition, pre/post natal care, antibiotics/broad spectrum antibiotics, artificial insulin and hormonal preparations,organ-transplantation have contributed immensely for the survival of the mankind.
If one wants to pursue Allopathic medical education, one has to study for 10 years after Intermediate [MBBS., - 4.5 years + Houseman ship -1 year + P.G. – 2 years + Super-Specialist – 2 years} and spend huge sums of money in a private Medical College. MBBS – Rs.75.00 lac, PG-Rs.1.00 crore for Radiology, Super-specialist another Rs.50.00 lac. The subject of study is very wide and deep not only into the cell but also into the genes. After completion of super-specialist course, starting a hospital/nursing home one has to invest as much as Rs.3.00 crores for the building, infra-structure, Para-medical staff, rent, interest on borrowed funds, maintenance, etc.
It is a herculean task for an allopath to invest, to study and to work hard for results and economic viability of his venture. An allopath takes unlimited risk to treat critical cases and he is capable to postpone death too. An allopath is as good as the God, in so far as his ability to act as a SAVIOUR of the mankind is concerned.
High costs is sine quo non due to the several factors cited.It naturally impacts the exhequer.

In view of high cost of education, investment in diagnostic equipment and huge investment in machinery to treat a disease condition, salaries to medical and Para-medical staff, building, interest on borrowed funds, the treatment procedures look to be exorbitant and outside the reach of the common man. Either the Government should support the private health-care industry with subsidies, grants, concessions, reimbursements to treat the poor under the Govt.’s programmes like ‘RAJIV AROGYASREE’ or the allopaths may open-up their mindsets to new inventions in Acupressure/Acupuncture,Ayurveda, Yoga/Meditation,Nature Cure, Herbal Remedies, etc.,etc.
But,Dr.Devedra Vora, the pioneer in Acupressure in India has found a solution to bring down the costs and with no side effects.
Acupressure techniques can be very handy to diagnose, instantaneously, any disease condition including diabetes.


More News on:

Awareness about Healthcare Insurance in India Healthcare Insurance-Common Terms and Definitions Laser Vision Correction Surgery 

News A - Z


News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find a Doctor

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

News Category

News Archive