In any economy, it is vital to recognize health of the people, as it assumed this will promote spontaneous growth of the economy by ensuring that resources are efficiently allocated. In this concern, a lot of health economists have embraced on finding out the contribution of convectional economics to good health of people. Some of the research works carried revealed that economics factors have influenced health of people through analysis of drugs and medical cost benefits. So as to establish a trade off, monetary values of medical services that determine in most cases the willingness to pay is among other demands and supply elements of health care. In addition to that, it has been found that this translates to medical household’s decision making where individuals have to apply medical economic principles in calculating the benefits relating to insurance services and children’s health care. Lastly, analysis has also revealed that economics also influences the health care service delivery by influencing the hospital management and physicians’ decision making process.
Specifically for us to understand contribution of convectional economic principles in health care services and to make viable decision makings, it sounds essential to economically evaluate health care programmes in a specified state, for instance Australia. Economic evaluation of health programmes involves comparison of both costs and benefits of various health care interventions or programmes before selecting the best alternative (Johnson 2006).
In analysis of the costs and benefits of the programmes, the microeconomic principles used include cost utility elements, such as Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYS). They assume that utility can only be derived from the health, irrespective of various health factors, such as age, personal characteristics and income. Other elements applied in measuring the costs and benefits include cardinal measures which range from zero to one, convectional utility which measures benefits based on the incorporated factors that contribute to satisfactions; and lastly, health economists use ordinal measures of ranking benefits. All these principles were applied in evaluation of health care programmes (How to Write the Business Report 2012).
In this research paper we specifically ask ourselves, how can we economically evaluate health care programmes? This is important, as it will help the government, patients, hospital management and even the physicians in the analysis of medical costs and benefits before engaging in making rational decision of which is the best medical programme to implement. The main audience of the paper will involve analysis of various health care programmes by Australian nurses and hospital management. This will be vital as there are a lot of changes reported to have taken place in recent years. Lastly, the paper draws a literature review before discussing the main factors and eventually concludes on the matter.
As a move to meet the best medical service provisions of the 21st century and enhance the public health benefits to the Australians, the Gillard government signed a National Health Reform Agreement with various states that allowed for more funding of all public hospitals by providing an extra amount of $19.8 billion by the end of 2020, and if possible, more than 175 billion to have been dispatched by 2030 so as to increase efficiency in medical service delivery. Moreover, in order to meet more benefits, the government has even come up with new policies to reduce the time taken by patients waiting for services, as well as increasing transparency and accountability among hospital management. This will increase medical benefits to the patients, though higher costs are incurred.
In the policy paper tabled in the Commonwealth meeting about health care system, the agreement reached about national health reforms in Australia reviewed that the country will be facilitated with financial support as per the COAG 2008 agreement so as to improve medical benefits of its citizens. In the policy paper, various Commonwealth states were also challenged to come up with new methods of improving medical services, such as employment of qualified staffs and employing the right number of employees, so as to meet high demand and reduce the time taken by patients waiting for services. According to the policy paper, the Commonwealth will start contributing the amount by July 2017.
The Australian health care system is one of the best in world. However, the government needs to increase health service delivery through ensuring that the right work force is employed. This will involve dedicated and well trained staffs that are capable to serve the patients well. Secondly, the right medical infrastructure must be provided. And lastly, it should ensure that patients have adequate information of what they should be provided with in the hospital and what services are available among others. This will improve the costs and benefits to the Australians and eventually people will come to enjoy as benefits would exceed the costs (A Healthy System for the 21st Century 2012).
According to a recent Medicare review magazine, released annually, the government and all other medical stakeholders were advised as to how to improve medical programmes in the hospitals by identifying the gaps existing in the service delivery before allocating the necessary resources. In order to save time, the hospital management should compile all local hours’ services and ensure that all patients have an hour on call rosters, so as to avoid inconveniences between the patients who arrived earlier and those coming later. This was mentioned to be on implementation by 2013 so as to reduce the patients’ congestion.
The Australian Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA), which is a combination of various medical peak groups in Australia, released a media report stating that Australians and more particular the rural dwellers need special medical attention. The health facilities are inadequate compared to the current growing population and thus major changes, including training of work force, need to be made so as to make medical services better and beneficial to the public. The organization currently revealed that it is working on other minor existing health care programmes in southern Australia, such as the gap between the indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, patients’ frustrations in the primary health care service to the aged among others (A Healthy System for the 21st Century 2012).
The medical practitioner review magazine about health of the community mentioned the need to come up with various health care programmes, particularly for the aged and children. This was revealed through the Medicare Local programme which is currently used to measure the rate of child immunization in the rural areas and particularly where it has been reported to be low. The programme was mentioned to have benefited the parents and children a lot, as children are immunized at homes instead of being taken to the medical clinics (Johnson 2006).
The medical practitioners, hospital management and the Australian government have an obligation to ensure that Australians derive the best medical benefits from various medical services provided. In order to meet the best choices of various medical services and programmes, the medical practitioners need to use the QALYS technique in analyzing the costs and benefits of each of these programmes. This will provide a solution on which programme or medical policy should be implemented as QALY to measure the quality and quantity of all the health care interventions before proposing the one with the lowest cost and the highest benefits selected. The main national reform of health sector financing with over $175 billion by the end of 2030 means that Australian government is ready to transform health sector. However, it should clearly and explicitly analyze the costs and benefits of the whole programme before implementing. There is a need to embrace transparency in dispensing the funds, so that they will not be misappropriated (Improving Primary Heath Care for all Australians 2012). If the government fails, the programmes may not be realized and thus eventually Australians fail to access the best medical services as required by the Commonwealth.
Aiming at improving the health care services in the Commonwealth, the country transforms to evaluating economically the available health care programmes before identifying gaps and finally allocating the necessary resources over a given period of time to meet the best benefits possible. As a move to improve the Medicare services, the government has been quoted in availing billions of pounds on the health sector so as to improve it by 2030. Other stakeholders, such hospital management and AHCRA, have not been left behind on the race to meet the delivery of the best medical services. However, for the government to realize this dream, it is suggested that the government should adequately allocate financial resources after identifying the key benefits expected by the patients (Improving Primary Health Care for all Australians 2012). Moreover, it has been found that the hospital management needs to be transparent and accountable over the resource utilization, so as to achieve the best medical services. To achieve the dream, they must also embrace employment and training of the best work forces in addition to availing the necessary medical infrastructure.
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