Healthcare 2011-12: Comparing performance across Australia, the 4th COAG report on the National Healthcare Agreement shows that the overall health of Australians and the quality of our healthcare system is improving. Life expectancy is increasing and rates of smoking, low birthweight babies and infant mortality are all improving. Still, Australia's health system faces some challenges. We have an increasing chronic disease burden, a growing and ageing population, and rising costs of services and health technologies.
The obesity rate continues to increase, with 7 in 20 adults being overweight, and a further 6 in 20 being classed as obese.
The report identifies a 16.2% reduction in the number of heart attacks per 100,000 people over 4 years. However, rates are much worse for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples, nearly 3 times the rate of other Australians.
Report cements the purpose of Medicare Locals.
Inequalities in heart health must be addressed.