By global standards, Australia’s health system rates well and overall we enjoy good health. We have high life expectancy and declining mortality rates. Despite this, we still face significant health challenges, and our health system is in need of change to address health inequality, preventable hospitalisations, preventable disease and illness and for consumers, improvements in care connection and continuity are needed (1).
Over the last 10 years, Australia’s health system has changed dramatically. The inclusion of all healthcare providers in addressing the needs of Australian’s has been promoted, and is increasingly utilised nationally.
The introduction of the Department of Health & Ageing’s Chronic Disease Management program has seen allied health services, including our members provide health care to eligible patients as part of team-based service arrangements. Accredited Exercise Physiologists’ alone provided over 110,000 services under Medicare Australia’s Medical Benefits Scheme in July 2010 – June 2011.
The recognition of exercise and physical activity participation as being important and vital to Australian health is increasingly acknowledged. The role of university-trained exercise and sports science professionals in health care environments, and as contributors to multi-disciplinary and multi-skilled teams is continually being promoted and embraced by health care providers and services at all levels of care.
(1)Australian General Practice Network. Care That Puts People First: responding to the health challenges of today, preparing for those of tomorrow. March 2009.