Australia’s health ‘report card’ is in!

The article was originally posted on LinkedIn by Barry Sandison, AIHW CEO.

Two years ago, Australia’s health 2018 was launched by the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, at a formal event and in the format of a 500-page printed report. Fast forward to present day, and things are obviously much different!

I’m very pleased to see another of the AIHW’s flagship reports released. Australia’s health 2020 brings together data from multiple sources to provide a holistic picture of the health of Australians and how we are faring as a nation.

While the majority of today’s report pre-dates the 2019–20 summer bushfires and COVID-19, it does offer some insight into the first few months of the pandemic. The ongoing challenges created by these two major crises have not only shown how integral our health is to the functioning of society, but also how vital data and their timeliness are.

One of the Institute’s core purposes immediately comes to mind—to produce authoritative and accessible information and statistics. As we are confronted with a wealth of headlines, conflicting information and behavioural analysis—it is more important than over to continue sourcing quality and timely data to equip policymakers with the evidence to make informed decisions that will benefit all Australians.

Two years ago, I also commented that one of our top priorities was learning more about the front door of our health system—primary health care. For the first time we offer timely analysis and information on regular GP visits versus visits using telehealth methods, and we continue to build on insights into complex issues such as how Australians use and move throughout the health system.

Just as many of us embrace online technologies, in recent years the AIHW has dedicated itself to improving accessibility of its information. Today’s two-yearly report builds on a new multi-product format, first introduced in Australia’s welfare 2019.

The Australia’s health 2020 product suite comprises: 

I would like to thank and congratulate everyone involved in producing this momentous and informative report—we look forward to seeing what a 2022 Report has in store for us.

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