Tuesday, July 16, 2013
The New Health Policy
As I see it, there are (at least) seven great challenges for the Australian Government in the health and medical field.
1. How to rein back the protection of the medical industry for the treatment of personally-generated dysfunctions that people are quite capable of fixing themselves. The general practice system is not doing a good job at managing poor health. It's a cumbersome, bloated, wasteful and expensive system that needs drastic surgery. It's been corrupted by Big Pharma - where drugs have become the prescription of preference over all other treatments.
2. How to restructure the Medicare system to give people great encouragement to improve their health and fitness - and lower public medical costs.
3. How to stop people going to doctors for things that doctors can't fix. We can no longer expect the public to pay for treatments that mask symptoms without restoring poor function to good. For instance
- elevated blood pressure is not caused by a lack of Avapro
- elevated cholesterol levels are not caused by a lack of Lipitor
- high blood glucose are not caused by a lack of Gliclazide
- headaches are not caused by a lack of Panadol
- reflux is not caused by a lack of Mylantin
- insomnia is not caused by a lack of Stilnox
- piles are not caused by a lack of Anusol
- a crook back is not caused by a lack of Celebrex or Oxycodone.
The list goes on and on.
4. How to reduce the impact of privately generated body system dysfunctions on the costs of publicly funded medical treatments.
5. How to encourage people to keep themselves fitter and healthier.
6. How to advance the fitness industry into the front line of primary health care for those body system dysfunctions that are caused by a lack of aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility. I believe that beefing up the fitness industry will give a coalition government the biggest bang for its health buck.
7. How to stop the purveyors of junk food and junk drink from running amok. Reducing the amount of added sugar in junk food and drink by half a percent each year until it is below 5% is a must.
I believe the Government has the capacity to develop a new approach to dealing with these problems with both carrot and stick solutions. The savings would be enormous.
The first step is to split the Department of Health into two:
- Department of Medical Services
- Department of Health, Fitness and Wellbeing
... so as to give greater emphasis to improving health, fitness and wellbeing - rather than sending ambulances around to the bottom of the cliff.
At the present time the focus is 99% on the medical side of the equation. This focus is causing our governments to go broke and not improving health, fitness and wellbeing.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned.