As the world’s second largest economy braces for the introduction of new limits on blood pressures, some of the world, and particularly Australia, is at the heart of the new set-up.
Australia’s healthcare system is not designed to handle the pressure that the country’s large population has put on the system, particularly for older people, and it is being forced to rely on less efficient and more expensive methods of delivery, including an emergency drug shortage that has left many patients at home.
In a bid to curb the rise of high blood pressure, health authorities have introduced measures that will have a big impact on the Australian healthcare system.
The government’s changes to Medicare and the state health system have already led to a drop in hospital admissions and deaths.
More than 5,000 Australians are in hospital for heart conditions, with another 3,000 expected to die from them.
In Victoria, a further 20 deaths were recorded in October alone.
A spokesman for the Australian Medical Association, which represents doctors, said there was little reason to believe the changes would be a success in curbing the increase in deaths.
“We’re seeing an increase in heart attacks, particularly in people aged 65 and over, with a very low mortality rate,” he said.
“So we’re expecting that to continue.”
“We do know from research in the United States and elsewhere that the best way to lower the rate of cardiovascular disease is to get people to stop smoking, stop eating high-fat foods and drink water, and to limit their exercise.”
If we don’t do that, we’re going to see more and more of these heart attacks and deaths.
“But it’s not just the number of deaths that will depend on how the new rules are implemented.
In the US, the biggest drop in deaths from the new guidelines was recorded in April, when the number dropped from 1,063 to 824.
In Australia, the government is also expected to cut back on the number and size of the emergency medicines that are being supplied to the country, and will introduce new restrictions on those medicines as well.
The Abbott government also wants to restrict access to blood tests, as well as to prescription medicines.