In many ways, our Australian health is in pretty good shape given our outdoor lifestyles and availability of fresh foods and water. But is it all good? The Australian health report provides reflective information.
This is something we tend to do in all aspects of our life, at both a professional and a personal level. However, we don’t often have this approach when it comes to our Australian health.
In this guide, we are going to take a look at the reports that have been released by the Australian government regarding the Nation’s health in 2018.
These reports are very useful because they help us to understand some key facts regarding the health of our nation, as well as some areas where by we can improve.
Australian Health Today
The report that has been published shows that Australia is generally a healthy nation. In terms of life expectancy, Australia is 3rd of the OECD countries.
Men in Australia are expected to live to 80.4 years whereas women are expected to live till they are 84.6 years.
These statistics relate to babies that have been born in 2016. Another positive associated with Australian health is that a lower number of us are putting ourselves at risk from long-term alcohol use and nicotine abuse when compared with the past.
Australia is also performing positively in terms of stopping avoidable deaths and more of our children have been immunised.
Australians Feel Like A Healthy Bunch
Out of all of the Australians that were surveyed, it seems that we generally have a good feeling regarding our health.
Over 90% of those interviewed said that they would grade their health as good or better. However, it can never be 100-percent good news all of the time.
Because our population is living longer than ever before, this means that we are now experiencing greater issues with regards to age-related and chronic conditions.
For instance, we know that older Australians are using a greater portion of health-related and hospital services and that three-quarters of all PBS medicines were dispensed to individuals that are over the age of 50 years old.
This means that as a nation we need to pay greater attention to providing quality health care services for conditions that are more likely to be experienced by people as they get older.
For example, dementia and other conditions that are caused largely because of the natural aging process.
Australian Health Issues To Watch
In Australia, half of the population suffer from what is deemed a common chronic health condition, for example, this could be cancer, mental illness, heart disease, or diabetes. Importantly, almost 25% of us have two or more of these chronic health conditions.
Because of this, it means that our experiences with health care and health in general are rather complicated. There are a number of preventable risk factors that are common across the board when it comes to chronic health conditions. For example, not getting enough exercise, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking.
This is something that has been outlined by the fact that our waistlines are expanding as the nation. In Australia, which may come as a bit of a surprise, 63% of all adults are either obese or overweight.
Furthermore, 7% of the total disease burden is caused because of carrying too much weight. Over the past 20 years, the portion of Australians who have what is deemed a healthy body weight has fallen and the number of people that are obese has risen.
Not only this, but over the same period of time, the number of people who are classified as severely obese has almost doubled. It is important here to note that it is not just bad exercise habits and poor diet choices that are causing our nation to become more obese.
There are also environmental, social, behavioral, biological, and other factors that are contributing to a likelihood of becoming a size that is not being healthy.
We have to consider the likes of food advertising, larger portion sizes, increasingly sedentary jobs, rising working hours, and the walkability of our cities to. These are the sorts of issues that need to be addressed when tackling the rising obesity problem.
Australian Health & Economic Conditions
In order to tackle the areas of our Nation’s health that are deemed poor or in need of improvement, it is all about using the data that is available and tackling the reason why poor health has arisen.
If we do this, we will be in a better position to comprehend how there are a diverse assortment of factors, including social factors, which contribute to our health.
For example, the government report that has been issued shows that there is an evident link between Australian health and socioeconomic position.
When you compare the individuals that are in the lowest socioeconomic group with the highest socioeconomic areas in the country, those in the lowest group are three times as likely to have diabetes or smoke and there are twice as likely to die because of causes that could have been avoided.
Those in this group are also deemed more likely to experience monetary barriers that will prevent them from accessing the health services that they require.
Furthermore they are also going to be twice as likely to not fill out a prescription or see a dentist because they cannot afford to do so. We also need to think about the disease burden when we consider the socio-economic position and the impact it has on our nation.
Those in the lowest socioeconomic group have rates that are 1.5 times higher in terms of likelihood of experiencing disease when compared with those in the highest group. It is also notable that those living in remote areas also have a similar pattern.
This includes certain groups of people like veterans, who are more likely to experience depression and other mental health conditions.