It’s at this time of year that many people start considering (or in many cases start re-considering) the idea of a move abroad.
A new year brings with it new hopes, a fresh start and the opportunity to do something you’ve been hoping to do for a while. So why not make 2018 the year you finally go for that new life overseas?
Over the final six weeks of 2017 we’re looking at a select group of the countries we work with, and examining why you should make the move in 2018.
During this we’ll recap some of the major news stories from 2017, look at the health issues facing the country, what sort of person would be suited to a move, and what the future could have in store. So read on, and join in the conversation on social media using the #OdyMTM2018.
As we edge another week closer to the New Year we’re going to take a look at Australia, a country that has been a real favourite amongst those looking to leave the United Kingdom for many years now.
What Made the News in 2017?
It’s been a busy year for the healthcare sector in Australia, with plenty of news stories focused on better understanding the health needs of the nation emerging.
Back in January the latest in telemedical technology was demonstrated, with the ‘Coviu’ program expected to bring healthcare to some 20,000 people in the country. This made it easy to connect with medical professionals using Google Chrome or Firefox browsers - without the need for additional software.
After a quiet few months things picked up as we reached April, with mental health action groups calling on the government to set suicide reduction targets. The calls came shortly after proposals had been outlined for the creation of the country’s first national suicide prevention plan.
Mental health continued to lead the headlines, after a new report showed that almost 30% of girls in the country suffer from a serious mental illness.
Psychiatric services and Cancer research support were the biggest beneficiaries of Australia’s 2017 budget, released in early May, with both areas benefitting from millions of dollars in additional funding.
The headline investment was the $68 million invested into a new proton beam therapy centre, scheduled to be open by 2020.
Later in the month a study revealed that Australians are consuming almost 60% more salt than previously thought, putting the country on the verge of a cardiovascular crisis.
Despite cardiovascular conditions being on the rise, an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report released in June highlighted Cancer as the biggest threat to the health of the nation.
This was further shown when an interactive map was published, looking at the most common types of Cancer in each area of the country.
Torrens University’s Public Health Information Development Unit curated the statistics, which illustrated the impact a number of socio-economic factors can have on Cancer prevalence throughout the country.
In July American research group the Commonwealth Fund ranked healthcare systems in the Western world, with Australia coming second only to the NHS.
A month later a number of groups including the Royal Australian College of GPs, the Royal Australian College of Physicians and the Cancer Council of Australia endorsed a statement calling for a national action plan to be introduced in the country, to prevent overdiagnosis and overtreatment.
As we reached September a new report using data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare identified the burden placed on healthcare in the country by preventable health issues - with a staggering 2,398,037 days taken up by people suffering from preventable conditions in hospital beds between 2015 and 2016.
At the beginning of October a fascinating new report was published, showing that dementia was now the leading cause of death amongst women in the country - rising above heart disease for the very first time.
Later the same month we brought you an exclusive article looking at the most sought after medical specialties in the country - with psychiatrists and GPs being the most in-demand.
The year ended with new findings showing that one in five Australian children are overweight by the time they start school, leading to calls for a sugar tax to prevent an imminent obesity epidemic. This was followed by the findings of ‘Mission Australia’s’ annual youth survey, which showed young people are now more concerned about mental health than ever before.
What are the Biggest Health Issues in Australia?
Mental Illness - Around 1 in 5 ‘Aussies’ experience the symptoms of a mental health disorder every year. Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the country, affecting 14.4% of those battling issues, whilst depression was one of the country’s leading causes of suicide.
In order to try and help those battling these issues in the country, and in order to reduce the steadily increasing suicide rate, Australia has invested generously in its mental health services. More information than ever is available for citizens, whilst a range of centres have been opened to allow individuals to speak with specialists about the issues that they are facing.
Inequalities Between Aboriginal and Non-Indigenous Health - Australia is home to a unique group of indigenous people - the Aboriginal and Strait Islanders.
These people lead a unique way of life that mixes modern technology with ancient traditions. Their lifestyle however is increasingly being seen as unhealthy, with dangerous jobs and smoking highly common, whilst more mainstream, modern, healthcare is shunned by many of the population’s older individuals who refuse to trust it.
Perhaps unsurprisingly therefore this has lead to the life expectancy for the Aboriginal people dropping to over 10 years lower than the country’s average.
Lung Cancer - As with everywhere else in the world at this moment in time, Cancer is one of the biggest issues facing the health of the nation. In Australia lung Cancer is the form of the issue which causes the most deaths.
85% of lung Cancer cases are caused by the use of (or excessive exposure to) tobacco. Its symptoms can leave people short of breath, coughing aggressively and even leads to the coughing up of blood if it is not caught at an early stage.
Whilst consuming tobacco is the most common contributing factor to lung Cancer, those exposed to chemicals such as radon, asbestos and nickel will also find themselves at an increased risk of the condition.
Around 5% of all deaths in Australia each year are as a result of lung Cancer
Who is Suited to a Move?
Australia is a laid back, liberal location with year round sun and a friendly, welcoming population. A move therefore should have something that suits everyone.
The financial rewards aren’t as rich as they are in the Gulf however, so if finances are your main reason for looking abroad we’d recommend looking elsewhere. What the country can offer however is an outstanding environment for a long-term move. Job security is high, whilst the country can be perfect for raising a family.
As a result we think it’s best suited to people looking for a more permanent relocation, where they will have plenty of stability and security as well as a better standard of living.
What Does the Future Have In Store?
Australia looks like having a stable, secure and potentially exciting future. Investment in healthcare is high - especially in psychiatry, and a strong economy means that it’s unlikely these plans will change.
Australia is also an extremely safe location, further enhancing its image as an ideal location for those looking for a long-term move with a young family.