Media event date:
July 6, 2022
July 7, 2022
The Albanian government’s health priorities and electoral commitments will lead to timely improvements in a number of critical areas highlighted in the latest report on the health of Australians.
The good news in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) ‘Australia’s health 2022’ report is that we are generally living longer and healthier lives.
However, the report highlights key health challenges Australia faces, including the long-term impact of COVID, the health of First Nations peoples, mental health and chronic disease.
The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest health problem of the past two years.
It’s a timely reminder that all eligible Australians are getting their third and fourth dose of COVID vaccinations.
It has never been more difficult or more expensive for Australians to see a doctor, and the report shows that 1 in 6 people felt they were waiting longer than acceptable for a doctor’s appointment.
The Albanian government is committed to investing in primary care practices and bolstering Medicare with nearly $1 billion in investment to make it easier to see a doctor, and to provide 50 emergency care clinics.
The government is well aware that the pandemic has led to an increase in mental health problems, particularly affecting young Australians, and an increase in the use of mental health services.
We are going to strengthen our mental healthcare system on several fronts. We will provide more accessible online mental health services to regional Australians, develop a free mental health monitoring tool, invest in mental health and wellness centers or initiatives in key locations, and expand access to suicide prevention services and training.
The report points out that the death rate among First Nations peoples is twice that of other Australians. Government reforms will help address inequalities in care for those with the lowest access and the worst health outcomes, including First Nations peoples.
Initiatives include expanding the First Nations health and care workforce, including supporting 500 additional First Nations people to become health professionals, doubling funding to fight rheumatic heart disease, establishing a special Birthing on Country Center of Excellence to improve outcomes of preterm birth, investing in dialysis treatment, aged care and cardiovascular health.
We will also align our primary health care reforms with a commitment to shifting to more effective and sustainable preventive health care, and anchoring it in everyday primary health care.
Comments attributable to Secretary of Health and Aged Care Mark Butler:
“The Albanian government has the policy agenda to address the health challenges and underlying social determinants, as highlighted in the AIHW report.
“We are tackling inequalities across our community that ultimately affect our health by tackling low wages, improving education, especially early childhood education through our childcare reforms, and getting more women into the workforce.
“We will build a stronger, fairer and more sustainable Australia for all Australians.”
“By highlighting the pandemic as the salient health problem for the past two years, the AIHW reminds us that we still face very real challenges this winter.
“The clear message is: make sure you get a booster shot. Check if you qualify for your third or fourth injection and book an appointment today.”