International Healthcare Roundup

International Healthcare Roundup: News from Singapore, New Zealand, Australia

28th Dec 2016

Singapore | The Cause of High Rates of Autism?

Singapore’s rate of autism in newly born children is above the worldwide average - with various reasons given for this seemingly concerning statistic.


Roughly 1 in every 150 newborns in the country are autistic, compared with the World Health Organisation’s 1 in 160 worldwide average.


Autism Spectrum Disorder is a lifelong condition that affects an individual's social skills and behaviours. It can often be spotted at an early age. Commonly children on the autistic spectrum will struggle to show interest or empathy with other people of a similar age to themselves, whilst eye contact, facial expressions and body language can be different when compared with other, non-autistic children.


In Singapore the number of pre-school age children diagnosed with the condition increased by over 75%, with 4400 diagnoses in 2014 - compared with 2500 four years previous.


Whilst this sharp increase appears concerning, many experts believe that it’s actually down to greater awareness and a more in-depth level of testing for the condition in the country.


Healthcare in Singapore is highly advanced, with a strong focus on providing the most cutting edge support in the world. These in-depth tests, combined with a drop in the stigma surrounding mental health conditions and greater awareness of autism have all been given as reasons for the notable rise in the statistics.


The growth in the number of young people with autism in Singapore is replicated worldwide, where autism rates have risen sizably since the turn of the century - mainly thanks to a much greater awareness of the condition globally.


Singapore is a truly unique country, with a truly unique healthcare system. The facilities are amongst the best in the world, and the high salaries and high quality of life can make it an extremely attractive destination for expat medics to move to. For more information, and job alerts register on our website - and make 2017 the year that you make a career (and life) enhancing move.


New Zealand | Physical Inactivity fuelling poor health

Less than half of adults in New Zealand are classified as physically active according to the country’s Ministry of Health - a statistic that the country needs to focus on altering in 2017.


Just 48% of ‘Kiwis’ take part in the Ministry’s recommendations of two and a half hours of moderate exercise each week - and this is a factor which is also leading to a poorer state of mental health in the region - according to the Exercise Association of New Zealand.


An astonishing 14.3% of people in the country exercise for under half an hour per week, with research showing that a direct correlation exists between the amount of exercise a person partakes in, and the quality of life that they enjoy.


Being physically active means that individuals are less likely to suffer mood swings, stress and even depression - a major, growing issue in the country.


An all too common misconception about what is classified as exercise is that it must be something which is intense, and makes the participant work up a sweat. In reality that is far from the case, with yoga becoming one of the most popular, and most successful, ways in which to keep fit and relax.


Whilst New Zealand is facing issues with both lifestyle related conditions and mental health concerns the country is working hard to combat these. New Zealand boasts a well funded, well staffed healthcare sector and a world famous relaxed way of life.


If a move to New Zealand is something which you believe would enhance your career then register on our website - and make 2017 the year in which you finally make the move of your dreams.


Australia | Mental Health a major issue

Mental health is one of the biggest issues affecting young people in Australia a new survey has revealed.


The annual ‘Mission Australia Survey’ spoke to over 20,000 people between the ages of 15 and 19 in the country, with the results showing that mental health was, in the respondent’s opinion, the third biggest issue facing Australia at this moment in time - ranking behind just alcohol/drug abuse, and discrimination.


It is estimated that roughly 1 in every 5 Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, with the prevalence of conditions most common in those between the ages of 18 and 24. According to the survey the main reasons for the high rate of mental health issues in young people were stress, problems at school and body image concerns.


Despite these being issues experienced by many during their school years, it is the first time in the survey’s 15 year history that mental health has been identified as one of the top three concerns in the country.


The reasons behind the number of young people highlighting concerns with it are unclear, though a number of factors are thought to have influenced the figures which have doubled in recent years.


Firstly a greater awareness of mental health conditions has made many people take more notice of their mental state, whereas previously such issues would be shunned as something experienced by almost everyone growing up. As well as this there is less of a stigma surrounding mental health conditions in the country, particularly amongst females who are the most likely to seek professional help.


Despite the positive side to the increasing statistics issues still exist in the country. Male respondents were far less likely to mention mental health concerns, whilst issues related to Australia’s vast geography were also mentioned.


One 17 year old respondent highlighted an issue with the country’s mental health care: ““I am concerned about mental health in rural areas, particularly suicide. I think there needs to be more help, particularly low cost or free help” she said.


Worldwide mental health awareness is increasing, and as so is the quality of care. Surveys like this will only help to hasten Australia’s investment in mental health care which is already far more than it has ever been.


If a move ‘down under’ to Australia or New Zealand appeals to you then register on our website for job alerts, and start your journey to a more rewarding, enjoyable career today.


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