4 areas of health sector change in the NAB Health in Focus Report

NAB Health in Focus reportA new Australian health ecosystem, new frontiers for practitioners & medical specialists, developments in the pharmacy sector and the future of aged care have featured in Health in Focus – Health Sector Insights which was released by the National Bank of Australia’s NAB Health recently.

Here is a summary of the 4 areas:

1.   A new Australian health ecosystem

  • Technology will play a vital role in achieving long-term sustainability in a high-pressure environment as health consumer demands and expectations increase – it will assist in providing collaborative care that is accessible, equitable, culturally sensitive, socially responsible and patient-centric
  • As data sharing increases over time, concerns about confidentiality and data privacy will be a high priority

2.   New frontiers for practitioners and medical specialists

  • Today, the health industry is still heavily paper-based and requires constant documentation of patient interactions, treatments, steps and history.
  • NAB believes that healthcare is changing, driven by data, devices, demographics and a diminishing capacity for governments to pay.
  • Technology is set to fundamentally change how people are diagnosed and monitoring their own health. It will also enable fundamental changes to interaction between patients and health professionals, including bookings, script renewals, referrals, information updates, and payments.
  • The future is for shared decision-making model, where the patient is the expert of their values, preferences and the impact of disease in their life, while the medical practitioner is the expert in diagnosis and treatment.

3.   Developments in the pharmacy sector

  • NAB’s view is that the Federal Government put $1.26 billion into the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) for professional services because they want to see change within the sector
  • Professional services will be designed to help with the development and implementation of new professional services to improve health outcomes at a local community level
  • The Health Destination Pharmacy model will enable pharmacists to shift their practice to provide a stronger focus on consumer self-care
  • The culture of a pharmacy business will be changed, with pharmacists being out the front of the store with their customers rather than behind the counter dispensing prescriptions
  • The future for pharmacists is how they differentiate their services, as prescriptions could be written online and filled through automatic dispensing devices and 24-hour access to online ordering and home delivery.
  • Pharmacies will need to transition their business models from a heavy dependence on government support to a model that can still be reliant on government but equally able to take on more services

4.   What’s next for aged care?

  • 30 years ago life expectancy at birth was 75.8 years, in 2045 it is projected to be around 90.4
  • Similarly, the aged care workforce also ageing, the median age for a residential direct care worker is 48 and for community direct care workers it’s 50
  • It is estimated that around 76,000 additional aged care places will need to be built over the next decade to cater for increased demand
  • The aged care operators are adapting their business structures to become more medical in nature, with services like rehabilitation, pharmacy, mental health and acute care facilities being provided on the same campus
  • Even with the utilization of technology, the answer to the biggest issues facing the aged will still need to be addressed – social isolation and deterioration in mental health

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