International City Profile: Sydney, Australia
How does the city ensure the health of its citizen by providing healthcare and medical services?
Background and Overview: Sydney, Australia
As the most populated city of Australia and the state capital of New South Wales, Sydney is located the east coast of the country. Sydney, a metropolitan city, is in the middle is one of the Earth's biggest natural harbours that is encircled by the city. Native Australians has occupied the lands around the city for thousands of years. Sydney was first founded in 1788 when British settlers with Captain Arthur Phillip, and the city became a penal colony. Ever since convict transportation has been terminated in the mid 1800s, Sydney has transformed into an independent metropolis, a world-famous economic and cultural center. With a leading market economy, Sydney is strong in manufacturing, finance and tourism (The Most Populous Cities In Oceania - Top 100. N.p., n.d.). In 2013, with $337 billion from gross regional product, it exceeds the economy of advanced metropolitan countries Denmark, Singapore and Hong Kong (3218.0. N.p., n.d.). Sydney has been promoted as the dominant financial center of Asia Pacific because of international banks and multinational enterprises. Besides being the host of large events such as the Summer Olympics 2000, the city's landmarks attract tens of thousands of tourists to visit Sydney each year. The most famous landmarks are the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, and the natural elements include Sydney Harbour, Bondi Beach, the Royal National Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens (Wikimedia Foundation, n.d.).
General Healthcare Services
New South Wales Health is a government department responsible for the management and funding of health services broad spans of settings. It provides for many including health centers with multi purposes in distant communities and big urban teaching hospitals. With more than 200 public hospitals and health services in the region of New South Wales, Australian permanent residents and citizens are provided health care free of charge. The services given in public hospitals include medical treatment, emergency care, elective surgery, emergency surgery, maternity services and rehabilitation programs. Life expectancy is also one of the highest in the world (Hospitals. N.p., n.d.).
Questions: How does the city ensure the health of its citizens by providing health care packages and medical services? How do the medical services work?
As one of the largest and most famous metropolitan cities in the world, the health services provided by the New South Wales government are efficient and effective. However, just like any other city, the citizens are threatened by a few diseases that are leading causes of death in Sydney.
Chronic diseases are one of the leading factors of disabilities and deaths in Australia. Chronic diseases are illnesses that are extended for a period of time. They do not resolve immediately more often than not, and are scarcely cured entirely. Being very complex, chronic diseases have diversed from their original nature, their causes and the extent of the impacts on the community. Some chronic diseases contribute largely to premature deaths, although most make contributions to disability. Common features include intricate reasons of causes with many factors that lead to the onset, a long period of development which there may be no symptoms, an extended course of illness which may lead to other health problems and functional disability or impairment that are associated. Related to the high demand of health care services and contributes to large pressures of funding, they are expected to rise in the coming decades as the widespread presence of chronic diseases increase (Department of Health. N.p., n.d.).
Cardiovascular disease, or CVD, is the also main cause of death and leading burden of disease in the city and the country. The increase of number of patients living with CVD is due to population ageing and improved treatments that have caused people with cardiovascular diseases to live longer. CVD is a general term for heart and blood vessels diseases. Diseases include heart failure, coronary heart disease, congenital heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, cardiomyopathy and stroke (Department of Health. N.p., n.d.). Because many of these disease can be life-threatening, the ambulance service is key to saving lives.
The Emergency Ambulance Service
As one of the biggest emergency ambulance service in the world, over 6.7 million patients are provided with pre-hospital emergency healthcare and transport services that are related to health. Around 3,700 employees work at 226 ambulance station, operating more than 938 ambulance services. Between the years 2006 and 2007, more than 1,052,000 patients were provided the emergency ambulance service. Over 3,700 people were employed for the ambulance service in 2007. There were many different departments in the Service, including station officers, area managers, paramedics, call takers, dispatchers, educators, patient transport officers and senior management (NSW Department of Health. N.p., n.d.).
The response time for New South Wales ambulance emergency services refers to the time period between when 000 emergency call is recorded and when the first ambulance appears at the place with a life-threatening case. In 2013 and 2014, 7.65 minutes was the time taken to respond for at least 50% of calls of potentially life threatening cases (the ones of highest priority). For the same years, the high priority potentially life threatening cases were responded to in 10.78 minutes or less for at least 50% of the emergency calls (NSW Ambulance. N.p., n.d.).
Explanation and Analysis
The emergency ambulance service established in Sydney, Australia seems are well-organised and efficient, with many people working for different departments in the Service and quick response time for the life threatening cases. Because of the sufficient amount of manpower in the service, several calls could be taken at once, or numerous ambulances could be sent out to different places and none would be delayed because of the lack of people operating these services. As Sydney is a fairly big city with busy roads in the city center, commercial or business districts, responding to calls in 7-10 minutes is quite fast. It is a very good idea to have extra people at several other stations as the calls that come in could be life or death, and no mistakes are allowed because it could cost a life.
A look into the future
Because the emergency ambulance service is already one of the top services in the world, I do not think that this area is something that the city needs working on. Instead, I strongly believe that Sydney should focus and put their resources into improving healthcare services for the citizens who suffer from chronic diseases or cardiovascular diseases. Chronic diseases drag on for a period of time and could not be cured completely, leading to increasing numbers of patients. Cardiovascular diseases cause many deaths and life threatening situations including heart failure and stroke. Even though the well-developed ambulance service can provide pre-hospital medical services
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