Education, in its attempt to prepare students to become active participants in the workforce, has often failed to educate students on taking responsibility for the most important decisions that they will ever have to make in their life-that is their health. The role education plays in creating healthy citizens' tomorrow has often been overlooked with the entire education system assuming that students will somehow work out what to do, based on the limited information gathering skills they acquired during their educational years.
This is clear when analysing the limited outcomes of the Australian Science and PDHPE curriculums which have delivered most health related outcomes in the curriculum. These curriculums offer students many examples of diseases and health conditions, in terms of their symptoms, treatments and causes. Both curriculums also have outcomes related to achieving a healthy and balanced lifestyle which may also prevent some life-style related diseases. However, both curriculums poorly prepare future tech-savvy health consumers to make effective health decisions. These consumers are not only more likely to use social and digital technologies to access health information on potential remedies and professionals, but are also more likely to use a combination of both eastern and western remedies to treat their health ailments. In fact, for most Australians, effective healthcare outcomes depend significantly on chance. The chance of finding the right remedy and healthcare professional in a timely manner differs from individual to individual and considering the fears surrounding the sustainability of the Australian Medicare system, real questions must be asked regarding how effective our education system is in educating future health consumers on making effective and efficient medical decisions for both themselves and their dependants.
One book which discusses this crucial national issue is 'Medicare Nightmare: The Great Australian Tragedy' by Dal Ouba. This educational resource assesses the complexity of our medical system, especially its relationship with other government systems. It gives a clear message on the need for a more integrated approach towards our healthcare system by all key stakeholders including those in education, government and business.
The dilemna referred to as the 'Medicare Nightmare' is not just a personal nightmare but a national one as well as poor information flow in our medical system and society results in increasing medical errors, escalating medical costs associated with improper medical care, rising health insurance premiums and an overburdened medical system, impacting on our national wealth and wellbeing.
Incorporating case-study analysis, this book tackles how this poor information flow occurs, allowing all key stakeholders in the healthcare system to take more responsibility for not just their personal health and wealth but that of their nation too. It is only through creating more community awareness in our society on the Medicare Nightmare that we can increase our chances of alleviating the personal suffering and costs incurred by those unfortunate victims trapped in the medical system and reveal the hidden impact and costs these nightmares, collectively have had on our society as a whole.
Whether one is working in the medical field, health insurance, education, government or medical legal field, the Medicare Nightmare is a great eye opener on how this lack of efficient information flow or awareness dooms our healthcare system to failure and undermines the foundation of our nation's wealth - its health. Students in secondary and tertiary education must also be aware of how their education has failed to prepare them to make the most important decisions in their lives.The overlooked issues in our medical system which plague its sustainability are addressed, incorporating case-study analysis from the many thousands of Australians who have suffered silently from some form of the nightmare.
For decades, policy makers and the mainstream media have reduced public discourse on our health system to focus on side issues such as e-health or budget cuts, failing to capture the real cause of failure in our health system. That is, inefficient access to quality information to empower patients and their carers to make more effective timely health decisions in order to maximise patient outcomes. For a technologically rich society, we have few - if any excuses to be trapped in this Nightmare.
The Medicare Nightmare: Educating Australians how to become more effective healthcare consumers
'Being educated on avoiding the Medicare Nightmare is not about having a contingency plan for every possible health condition but about developing the necessary skills to analyse specific health information and ask the right questions when needed to make timely, effective medical decisions about one's body- the same way one is taught and prepared to make decisions about ones' future career, education, family planning etc'
Quote from the Medicare Nightmare: The great Australian tragedy
Medicare Nightmare Book Contents
1. Understanding the Medicare Nightmare
2. Who is at risk?
3. Women's oppression through the Medicare Nightmare
4. The contribution of inefficient information flow
5. The role of the education sector
6. Who bears responsibility for the Medicare Nightmare?
7. The future of our Medical system
8. Finding support during a Medicare Nightmare
9. Visual reflections on the Medicare Nightmare (educational resource)
Who should read this book?
This book is designed for a general public audience to increase its readability and generate essential public debate on increasing the efficiency of our medical system in order to help thousands of Australians avoid excruciating disabilities, losses or even death as a result of being unable to make effective medical decisions in their life. This book is an essential read for health care professionals, policy advisers and analysts, teachers, health insurance CEOs and even students who are all key stakeholders in our medical system and thus contribute one way or another to its overall efficiency and success.
This book is also an ideal resource to complement compulsory subjects both in secondary education and undergraduate medical studies in the tertiary sector.
How is this book different to others?
This book takes a unique look at our medical system as it explains the unique concept of the 'Medicare Nightmare' and how it is linked to the oppression of women, disempowerment of health consumers and the unsustainability of our medicare system. It looks at the crucial role of inadequate information flow and why in a technologically rich society, this is a tragedy. However, the type of information needed to make more effective decisions is distinct to that identified by other books, as this essential information is quality information that will help empower health consumers, rather than meaningless general health information offered by general health books.
Other books in this genre are limited both in their scope and target markets, focusing on discussing predominantly medical errors, e-health systems and hospital statistics. Unfortunately, they fail to empower health consumers by failing to consider how these issues are intrisically linked to other complex issues which also need to be urgently addressed in order to improve the efficiency and sustainability of our medical system. This book appeals to the Australian general public and emphasizes the role that education and stakeholders at all levels can play to help alleviate this national tragedy and protect our national prosperity and well-being.
Other texts also do not consider how other government systems such as education, tax, legal and welfare are linked to our healthcare system and thus one way or another are affected by its ability to deliver just outcomes or vice versa. This book further explores the power imbalance between healthcare providers and consumers and how a lack of access to quality information that empowers consumers to make crucial, timely decisions about who and where to be treated can lead to a medicare nightmare on the personal and national level. The book itself can be used as an educational resource as it addresses key gaps in the Australian curriculum, proposes educational strategies that can be used and provides a more comprehensive picture of our complex health system. A rivetting eye opener, it focuses on issues that should be at the forefront of public discourse on our medical system and national prosperity.
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