Australia spends roughly 8.5% of GDP on healthcare each year. That, my friends, is a lot of money. In 2007, our GDP was $637 billion; 8.5% of that being a sweet $53 billion or so.
Then lets take a look at how much of that is spent on looking after people with preventable disease. The graph below plots the 10 leading causes of disease burden:
Looking at the list above, I’d say three things account for the disease in most cases:
- Poor dietary choices.
- Sedentary lifestyle behaviour.
“Oh, but its my genes…,” or “I eat perfectly well,” or “I don’t have time to exercise,” or “I only smoke on the weekend,” or “Its not my fault, it can’t be due to the things I’m doing…”
Healthcare is necessary – absolutely. But a lot of it is not. Imagine what else that money could be spent on if everybody only bothered to look after their most important asset – their body. Your best healthcare policy doesn’t consist of Medibank or Medicare. Your best healthcare policy consists of the following things:
- The right information.
- A good diet that stems from point number 1.
- Regular exercise that also stems from point number 1.
The best healthcare you can get is by spending time and effort to empower yourself to make choices every day that support your health. Choose to be proactive about it instead of only dealing with things when you’ve come apart at the seams and something major has gone wrong. The old adage is absolutely true – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Yup, the majority of healthcare is your responsibility, not the government.