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AHHA on responding to and planning for Australian healthcare system challenges

2 min read
healthcare system

In recent years, the Australian healthcare system has had to rapidly adapt to new challenges, in a way that hasn’t happened before.

This came to a head at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when health services and clinicians were stretched beyond breaking points. 

“How we learn from and adapt to adverse experiences is critical to how the health system responds to future challenges,” said Australian Health Review Editor-in-Chief Dr Sonĵ Hall. 

Dr Hall highlighted that the August issue of the Australian Health Review reflects on the importance of health system resilience and explores health policy research that considers the health system response to the COVID-19 pandemic, strategies for surge planning and more. 

“Multidisciplinary teams, led by allied health professionals using a reverse triage model, were able to safely discharge patients from a Melbourne hospital into community care settings at the height of the pandemic, improving access to emergency departments.” 

 According to Dr Hall the COVID-19 pandemic also exposed other critical gaps in Australian healthcare services, including access to acute care, elective surgery, and hospital exit block. 

“A perspective by Looi et al, reflects on the challenge of workforce shortages and the increased need for skilled workers as a consequence of suspended services during the pandemic. Balancing supply and demand in healthcare is no easy task but is essential for a healthier future.” 

“Other research looks at the impact of governance on care quality in aged care services, whereby a study aimed at improving understanding of care quality for residents, has seen board members undertake site visits to residential aged care services,” added Dr Hall.  

These visits enabled board members to look beyond what can often be an exclusive focus on clinical indicators and accreditation as measures of quality, rather than the experiences of residents, their families and staff. 

The collection of articles in this month’s Australian Health Review underscores the dynamic nature of healthcare provision in Australia, stressing the need for proactive responses to challenges and changing circumstances. 

Related:Revolutionising Australian Cancer Screening

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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