"From 2009–10 to 2049–50, real health spending on those aged over 65 years is expected to increase around seven‑fold. Over the same period, real spending on those aged over 85 years is expected to increase around twelve‑fold. ”
- Australia to 2050; future challenges, Commonwealth Government, 2010.
The Health and Care Sector is currently grappling with the question of how to more effectively and sustainably manage the ageing population, growing burden of chronic disease and rapidly increasing costs.
This has resulted in a growing debate in the developed world including here in Australia regarding sustainability of the Health and Care Sector and possible options to support a more sustainable future.
The world’s health systems are under macroeconomic pressure, with a rapid escalation in demand for services and increased cost of the new diagnostic tests, treatments and medicines. At the same time, the healthcare workforce is ageing, with a predicted loss of a large proportion of employees due to retirement in the next 10-15 years. This loss of experience and expertise will put an additional strain on delivery of healthcare services as employers recruit and train a new workforce.
Every Government around the world is asking: “What can we do to build a more sustainable healthcare system?”
This provides a great opportunity for those with an interest in new approaches and models to influence the development of alternative responses, models, tools and relationships that empower individual citizens to take charge of their own health and wellbeing across their life journey- namely Self Care.
Self care is not a new activity. People have managed their own health and wellbeing since the beginning of time. Until the scientific revolution of the mid-19th and 20th century the dominant model of healthcare was individual self care in the family and local community.
Health care has been revolutionised by the scientific and medical discoveries, technological advances in diagnostics, surgery and medicines, and the development of the healthcare professions over the past 150 years. However it has resulted in the perceived and actual transfer of responsibility for a person’s health and wellness from the individual to the trained professional. In fact despite the medicalisation of many aspects of health and care the large bulk of care continues to be the things individuals do for themselves and their families on a daily basis.
Sara Riggare - Parkinson’s Sufferer since the age of 13
“I visit my neurologist twice a year, for about 30 minutes. That is one hour per year.
The rest of the year’s 8,765 hours, I spend in self-care.”