In view of the impending election, we asked representatives from the two major political parties for their policies on health. The Minister for Health and Ageing replies.
On any fair judgement, Australia has excellent health systems. Our healthy life expectancy ranks just behind that of Japan, Iceland and Sweden. There has been a 10-year increase in Australians’ life expectancy since 1960, and a 3-year increase since 1996. These results testify to the effectiveness of the individuals and organisations involved in providing health care. Australia does not need radical experiments in health care delivery. We need refinements and improvements that build on our existing strengths. Our greatest strength, of course, is the dedication and professionalism of Australia’s health staff, who can invariably be trusted to act in their patients’ best interests.
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