AUSTRALIA is grappling with the health costs of telemedicine, and it is only getting worse, new research has found.
Key points:A new study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows the cost of getting health care from telehealth is higher than it used to be in AustraliaHow the research was carried outIt found that the cost to the health system of getting a GP appointment in the US was $1,800 in 2013, compared to just $1 in Australia in 2011The study also found that people who live in remote and rural areas are more likely to get health care, and the cost per appointment is higher there than in the rest of Australia.
The research, published in the Journal of Health Economics, found that in the past, the cost for a GP visit was much higher in Australia than in most other countries.
In 2013, the average GP appointment cost about $1.50 in Australia, compared with $1 per visit in the United States, according to the study.
The study said that because the cost was so high, people who needed care were more likely than others to skip the visit.
Its findings suggest that people may be paying a higher price for getting health services in Australia.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the findings showed Australians should be prepared for the costs.
“The research suggests that Australians are paying a premium for health care and it’s a premium that will only grow as we see the number of people living in remote areas,” she said.
“There’s also a growing cost for health services and a growing burden for the Australian health system.”
It’s important to note that the researchers used data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which showed the cost had been increasing in Australia for decades.
The study found that Australians were also paying more for GP visits than in any other country in the world.
More than half of all GP visits in Australia were made by mobile phones.
There are more than 600 mobile phones per person in Australia compared to almost 60 in the UK, the US and France, according the study, which was funded by the Institute of Public Affairs.
“The main thing we’re finding is that the costs of health care have increased substantially in Australia and this is putting us in a bind because we need to be able to pay for the cost in terms of what we get out of it,” Dr Hennessys said.
Australia is home to the world’s biggest network of mobile phones, with about 200 million users across a range of health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and mental health.
One of the most common conditions for which people use mobile phones is chronic pain, and about half of Australians who are diagnosed with chronic pain have a mobile phone, according a report from the Institute for Health and Health Systems.
“What we’re seeing is a really significant gap in access and the price that Australians pay for health,” Dr Henriessys said, adding that Australians could save a lot of money if they made more use of mobile phone health services.
Dr Hennessies said people should start planning now to make sure they have a plan in place to make the most of the health care system in Australia if they live in a remote or rural area.
She said the country had the lowest number of GP appointments per capita in the developed world, but the figures were higher in remote parts of the country.
In some cases, it was not possible to get a GP referral because of remote location, she said, but other factors were contributing to a gap in the number.
Other health services covered in the survey included physical and dental examinations, blood tests and laboratory tests, and dental visits.
Topics:health,health-administration,diseases-and-disorders,dental-substance-abuse,perth-6000,nsw,australiaFirst posted May 03, 2019 09:52:56Contact Karen O’BrienMore stories from Western Australia