Inequality and health literacy: Our Op-ed in Fairfax papers
Fairfax have published an op-ed from us that looks at inequality and health literacy in the Australian healthcare system.
"We spend about $100 billion of public money on healthcare and products annually. Society and its leaders fret about this expense while we do little to take the relatively inexpensive steps required to improve population-wide awareness and action on healthy lifestyle.
If we accept that more than half the population is estimated not to have a firm knowledge of health, surely it is time for Australia to restore an effective national preventive health program.
That should be accompanied by strong primary healthcare arrangements: GPs working with a team of healthcare providers to provide "wrap around" services particularly for those with complex conditions. We know that countries that have such arrangements are the better performing ones in terms of healthcare system effectiveness and efficiency.
And any boosts to primary healthcare must be much more patient-centred with consumer representatives having a say in the design and delivery of health services."