Crisis as opportunity: how COVID-19 will reshape the Australian health system

Gabriel E. Blecher, Grant A. Blashki, Simon Judkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review


COVID-19 has been the dominant issue for every Australian in 2020. Important challenges in our healthcare system have been exposed including poor integration between components, the over-reliance on treatment rather than preventive care and inefficient use of resources. The pandemic is an opportune time to pause and reflect on the many lessons that must be taken out of this crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, system reform can occur rapidly when needed. Having flexibility in our systems is a strength and must be built-in. At all times, thoughtful resource stewardship must be made a priority, but even more so in a crisis. Australian innovation and can-do attitude must be fostered and supported so that supply shortages do not impact care delivery in future. Preventative care is much more effective than treatment, both in ordinary times and in a pandemic. Social determinants of health remain an issue to manage if we wish to ensure equitable distribution of health in our country. A linear approach to solving challenges in a Complex system such as healthcare will not suffice, so new ways of problem solving are required. Lastly, saving lives is all for nought if the mental health of both patients and providers is not given a high priority.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalThe Medical Journal of Australia
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Jul 2020

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