Moving from Illness to Promoting Wellness

Our healthcare system is set for a much-needed shakeup. And as GPs struggle to retain guardianship and funding for referring patients to allied health professionals, these professionals are urging the adoption of mandates to provide more preventive care directly to individuals.

“There is no doubt that the government can do more to tip the balance from treatment to prevention when it comes to the health of Australians,” says CMA Chief Executive Carl Gibson.”

On the one hand, GPs want to retain the power to be health gatekeepers, referring patients to dietitians, physiotherapists and other allied health professionals. At the same time, allied health professionals are committed to providing more in the preventive health arena. “We need to put more emphasis on wellness, rather than focus entirely on illness,” said Carl Gibson, adding that; “The vital role of preventive health is too important to be ignored”.

The human costs of being unwell are clear not just from the personal level but also for families and the community. The financial costs can mount quickly – including treatment costs, time off work, carers and childcare, for example. Feeling healthier can also boost overall wellbeing in work and home life with greater productivity, zest and resilience. Preventing future illnesses and complications from existing conditions is vital to the future sustainability of health systems with far-reaching effects affecting our planet.

According to the World Bank: “Encouraging early patient diagnosis and management/intervention and supporting patient compliance will promote longer, healthier living and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”It makes sense to prioritise prevention to help reduce risk factors and slow their progression.

CMA looks forward to discussing these critical factors to ensure the country progresses to making the right choices – for all Australians.

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