Nearly a third of the Australian population are obese and nearly two-thirds are overweight or obese. Likewise, According to Diabetes Australia, around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes, and a further 2 million are at high-risk of developing it. What these studies and surveys reveal is the gruesome truth of an Australia spiraling down in health charts. And this, in spite of being known globally as a “healthy nation”. The figures make the future look bleak with chronic diseases on the rise, eating away people’s health and money.
Doctors across the country have voiced concern over the string budget allotted to healthcare in the country and how more measures and interposition from the government can help people prevent these diseases rather then come in for treatment. 1.3 per cent of the Australian health budget is designated for preventing disease.
The Australian healthcare system allows for little flexibility to treat patients with chronic diseases, who usually require a continued management system, for diseases like Diabetes, asthma, heart diseases, mental health and more. GP, Marek Steiner, who thinks the health system is struggling to cope with the increase in chronic illnesses. Also, a great divide between people who can afford and can’t, has been observed.
Preventing through awareness and initiatives, rather than treating them when the need arises, is an approach that the government needs to take. Obesity, has become a big monster in the country, weighing it down. Obesity also becomes the natural host to related issues like Diabetes and heart conditions. This requires a structured investment in and focus on healthy lifestyles, food choices, fitness and wellness centric activities. Also, attention to health must click early on, instilling it in childhood.