The Australian public spend roughly $28 billion per year on their health, which includes $3 billion on hospitals, $5.5 billion on dental care and $11 billion on medication. Health insurance across the country reaches $21 billion each year and amongst the wealthy countries, we have the third highest reliance on medical products.
Knowing these details, how much are you paying for your health? Is this a problem that you can rectify or is your health insurance and its costs providing good value for money? We look at the costs of health care and the amount of money being wasted every year on un-proven, un-tested products.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released information stating that funding from non-government sources such as out-of-wallet costs increased four and a half times faster that government funding in 2014-15. This is problematic because health is expensive and complex to quantify and the rise in out-of-wallet costs of health may deter some people from seeking health care when they need it.
The information released stated that within 2014-15, one in every twenty people who needed to see a GP skipped or delayed their appointment to avoid a cost. The James Cook University and NSW Bureau of Health Information released the results of a study that showed 50% of Australians struggle with depression, anxiety or other mental health issues by avoiding treatment because of the associated costs. There is only one other country that beats us when it comes to skipping healthcare due to costs and that’s the U.S.A.
Did you know that we as a nation spend as much as $9 billion a year on the 11,000 vitamins, supplements and over the counter products, which is more than we spend on dental care and hospitals combined. This is a big problem because we don’t fully know whether these vitamins and supplements actually work because they are not scientifically tested before they make their bold life changing claims. There is however hope because some industry changes could save us millions if they come into effect.
The better value for money decision would be to choose prescription medications because they are subject to rigorous testing to ensure their safety and effectiveness. Plus they must meet stringent standards before they are accepted. Complimentary products such as supplements and vitamins only require an online application form.
You could save yourself thousands of dollars over your lifetime by choosing to buy medications that are prescribed to you by a medical practitioner and are deemed medically necessary. Yet, instead we collectively buy supplements and vitamins that we hope might help a problem that we might not have.
We are not trying to deter you from spending money on your health, rather, we are saying consider the amount of money you spend per month on these additional supplements and calculate the amount of financial stress it may relieve you from if you were to stop buying them. Spending more money on hope than we do on tried and tested medical products could be a credit to our optimism or an insult to our sense, you decide which side of the fence you sit.
Further more, if you would like to save some extra money on pharmacy products, this link might prove useful in choosing the best online source for your medication.