OECD: Australians in Good Health

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Fraser Clarke

A new report has shown that Australians are in relatively good health, despite higher than average rates of Cancer and alcohol consumption.

Thanks to a recently released online tool compiled by the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing (AIHW) it’s now easier than ever to compare Australia’s figures with other OECD nations, and the global average.

The figures show that the perceived health status of the nation was the fourth best globally, whilst the country ranked second only to Belgium in the number of long-term care recipients in institutions other than hospitals.

It wasn’t all positive however, with Australia well above the OECD average of overweight and obese adults - with rates now at 63.4% compared to 58.1% globally, whilst world leading Japan has obesity rates of just over 25%. Alcohol consumption rates were also higher than average - with Aussies now consuming 9.7 litres per person.

Australia also had the world’s second highest Cancer prevalence rate, with 323 out of every 100,000 people facing the condition - a figure well above the global average of 269.3 per 100,000.

Thanks to its universal healthcare system Australia was joined by a host of other countries (including New Zealand, the UK and Finland) in having 100% healthcare coverage, whilst the country also had a higher than average uptake for private health cover.

Speaking about the survey, and especially the higher than average Cancer rates, Claire Sparke, AIHW spokesperson, said: “We may have higher incidence but we also have higher rates of survival.

“The chances of cancer by the time you’re 75 are one in three. If you make it to 85 it’s one in two.”

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