Healthcare in Australia

Characteristics of consumers of health care
The health system is used to varying degrees by Australian citizens, overseas visitors, temporary and permanent visa holders and asylum-seekers (Luke & Shelton, 2006). Their needs and expectations are shaped by many factors, including the nature and extent of their health status, as well as factors such as age, gender, where they live and their cultural background.
Characteristics of the providers of health care
About 37.5 percent of medical practitioners are GPs in private practice, 35 percent are specialists, and 13.8 percent are specialists in training. Most medical practitioners and allied health practitioners are in private practice and charge a fee-for-service. Many private specialists work in both the public and private sectors (Luke & Shelton, 2006).. Physicians in public hospitals either are salaried (but may also have private practices and additional fee-for-service income) or are paid on a per-session basis for treating public patients.
Characteristics of the payers for health care services
Australia has one of the most affordable, accessible and comprehensive healthcare systems in the world. The health system is mainly financed through general taxation revenue, including a small statutory insurance levy, and through private payments. The public, taxation-funded national health insurance scheme, Medicare, provides universal access to subsidized medical services, subsidized pharmaceuticals, and free hospital treatment as a public patient (Boyd & Sheen, 2014).   People can also take out private health insurance to complement the public scheme, in order to cover or partially cover the financial costs of hospital treatment as private patients, to enable quicker access to elective surgery as a private patient, and to cover or partially cover dental and other allied health services.   Government health expenditure (the Australian government and the eight states/territories) is funded from general tax revenue,...