A digitally-enabled health system

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Dods, Sarah; Hansen, David ORCID ID icon; Boyle, Justin; O'Keefe, Christine; Alem, Leila; Celler, Branko; Freyne, Jill; Kanagasingam, Yogi



28 p.

Australia's healthcare system is under significant and increasing pressure to change within the next twenty years. Health is already the second largest area of government expenditure and the largest employer in Australia, with total health expenditure trebling in the last 25 years (Department of Treasury 2010: 50). Our ageing population heralds a range of exacerbated issues including a shrinking workforce, reduced tax base, and more patients. At the same time, chronic disease incidence continues to rise, as do expectations of the quality levels and breadth of treatments available to the average citizen. All this contributes to forecasts that the national costs of healthcare will trend upwards at an exponential rate. Treasury estimates suggest that at current rates of growth, and without significant change, health expenditure will exceed the entire state and local government tax base by 2043, and require almost half of all government taxation revenue (Department of Health 2010: 53). Simply targeting administrative overheads is unlikely to deliver further substantive gains: administration only constitutes around 2 per cent of recurring health expenditure, and was the only such area to decline in amount between 2006 and 2011 (AIHW 2012). The situation is not, however, beyond remedy. Digital technologies are powerful enablers for addressing the challenge of meeting rising demand with increasingly scarce human, capital and operational resources, at the same time delivering improvements to service quality and availability. Much of the data on which these advances rely is already available to clinicians and administrators, or will be soon.


CSIRO, Marsfield

ehealth; future

Health Informatics

Published Version (pdf) (3.09MB)


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Technical Report (Author)


Dods, Sarah; Hansen, David; Boyle, Justin; O'Keefe, Christine; Alem, Leila; Celler, Branko; Freyne, Jill; Kanagasingam, Yogi. A digitally-enabled health system. CSIRO, Marsfield: CSIRO; 2014. csiro:EP145606. https://doi.org/10.4225/08/584ee7360ac32

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