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Australian Public Policy - Research Proposal Example

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This means that in the future, any increase in health care spending in Australia would entail a greater corresponding increase in the proportion of health care costs borne by the Australian Government (Elderly Care,(http://www.answers.com/topic/elderly-care,). Sweden, the UK and Japan provide a higher percentages (more than 80 per cent), while that of the United States is the lowest. Proponents of universal health care have often criticized the US policy of leaving a larger proportion of the health sector in the hands of competitive market forces, but this has been justified by its government and policy apologists by saying that universal health care coverage will require higher taxes and a great likelihood of poorly performing health care facilities and physicians.
That elderly population which accounts for a more than proportionate share of government spending on medical and health care consist of those who are 65 or over and who need some assistance with daily activities and health care, but who desire and deserve to age with dignity. At the same time this group is also prone to neglect in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and need critical assistance from the government so that they would not fall prey to the debilities and sicknesses that often afflict this population group.

While aging is unavoidable, major physical impairment is not. People can lead healthy, disability-free lives throughout their later years. A well-established support system of family, friends, and health care providers, along with a focus on good nutrition and lifestyle habits, and effective stress management, can prevent disease and lessen the impact of chronic conditions. The government as well as some helpful organizations can contribute their share in bringing about a healthy senior population.
Preventative measures can also help. Such health practices as healthy diet, daily exercise, stress management, and control of lifestyle habits, such as smoking and drinking, can lengthen the life span and improve the quality of life of this age group. Exercise can improve appetite, bone health, emotional and mental outlook, digestion, and circulation.

It has also been observed universally that retirees tend to get sick and die early. Retirement is very damaging to health. According to the Australia 2020 Final Report, older people need a reason to stay engaged, and that consideration should be given to abolishing retirement and to reinventing different types of productivity. Of course, the state of health that seniors find themselves in often are the cumulative effects of poor health habits many years before retirement, hence an integrated approach should consider the adoption of healthy habit and practices for all ages, not just when the individual has retired.

Lack of understanding or empathy for this group our society should be a moral concern for all policy makers. These elderly people, the retirees among us, have contributed their share in building our nation and civilization and deserve our care and gratitude. The heritage that their work created, while plain and recognizable, are often taken ...Show more
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Summary

Medical care cost constituted the highest US government expenditure in 2007($2.3 trillion), and medical care of seniors accounted for the big chunk of that amount. This total represented 16% of the US gross domestic product, compared to 10.9 per cent of GDP in Switzerland, 10.7 per cent in Germany, 9.7 percent in Canada, and 9.5 per cent in France, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)…
Australian Public Policy
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