2015 Intergenerational Report highlights role of self care in national healthcare policy

05 March 2015

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5 March 2015 - The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) today said that the 2015 Intergenerational Report (IGR) highlights the need for self care to play a more prominent role in national healthcare policy.

The IGR states that Commonwealth health expenditure is projected to increase from 4.2 per cent of GDP in 2014-15 to 5.5 per cent of GDP in 2054-55 under the Federal Government's 'proposed policy' scenario. In today's dollars, health spending per person is projected to more than double from around $2,800 to around $6,500.

ASMI Executive Director, Dr Deon Schoombie, said: "The Intergenerational Report points to the need to reorient the healthcare system towards prevention of the many lifestyle diseases forecast to drive spiralling cost increases in Australia's healthcare system during the next 40 years.

"It also highlights the need for the health system to support consumers to take more responsibility for managing minor conditions and chronic illnesses in partnership with health professionals rather than being passive recipients of healthcare.

"The IGR reinforces the need for the Federal Government to put in place policy settings that encourage self care - where consumers are more engaged in managing their health, whether preventing disease, treating symptoms, managing chronic conditions or enhancing their well-being.

"Self care requires informed consumers; the expertise of GPs, pharmacists and other healthcare practitioners; the supply by industry of evidence based-products; government to facilitate a regulatory environment conducive to self care, and private health insurers to create incentives that will encourage self care behaviour.
"In Australia, the newly formed Self Care Alliance is advising governments on ways to increase the prominence of self care in national healthcare policy.

Government must make self care integral to health policy, with stakeholders working to develop affordable, practical and sustainable solutions. These should include greater investment in health promotion and disease prevention.
"Expanded self care, along with improved health literacy, should lighten the load on Australia's hard pressed health services and Federal Budget during the next 40 years, whilst improving patient outcomes, consumer convenience and quality of life," he added.

For more information or to arrange a media interview, please contact:
Marie Kelly-Davies, Communications Manager, Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI)
M:0408 256 381 E: marie@asmi.com.au

About ASMI: The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) is the peak body representing sponsors of non-prescription medicines - over-the-counter (OTC) and complementary medicines (CM). ASMI members make up 85 per cent of the $4bn Non-Prescription Medicines market. Membership totals 50 companies and ASMI members employ approximately 18,000 people with exports estimated at $1.2 billion annually. ASMI's mission is to advance consumer health through responsible self-care. This means driving a viable and responsible industry and empowering the consumer with evidence-based products and information with the aim of improving health and wellbeing. To find out more about ASMI or how to become an ASMI member, please visit (www.asmi.com.au).
1. Commonwealth Government. 2015 Intergenerational Report. Australia in 2055. 5 March 2015. http://www.treasury.gov.au/Policy-Topics/PeopleAndSociety/Intergenerational-Report