From the Field: Australian Healthcare System

The healthcare system in Australia is centralized and well regulated. Indeed, it made us feel that “Yes! This is a well organized health service”. Starting from managing the chaos in a reception desk to the hygiene maintained in an ICU Room, everything just fell in its place.

Interestingly, Australia has a very small population i.e. 23 million compared to India which is 1 billion more in half the land space. This definitely makes for different challenges.

The Need Validation of the Indo – Australian Team started with a conversation with Dr. Martin Wullschleger, Director of Trauma, Gold Coast University Hospital.

Following that, we attended a conference at Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital, where doctors from across the country were presenting their research activities. We discussed some of our needs with them. We gathered insights on their perspective of our discovered needs, how these problems were currently addressed in Australia and what value would working on them add to their practice.

Is Burns related trauma or complications prevalent in Australia, that must be addressed?

From the crowd of doctors
Burns are an accidental trauma that we witness on a regular basis. Fortunately in the populous cities like Brisbane we do have extensive facilities to serve patients with around 60% burns, with a 90% survival rate. It becomes a complication when it happens in regions of central Australia or remote towns where medical help is far.

The follow up with the doctors in the conference later really helped us in the validation process.


We met with Dr. Rob Eley, Academic Research Manager and Director (Research Training) of Princess Alexandra Hospital the next day. He gave lot of inputs for needs related to Emergency & Trauma, Paramedics and Surgery.

We also met with Head Nurse Fiona Boch, Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital who had done ample amount of research in pressure injuries and bed sores.

Is monitoring of intubated patients with saliva build-up, a problem in ICU?

Saliva build-up occurs in intubated patients, but monitoring is not a problem here in Hospitals. Primarily because the ratio of nurse to patient monitoring is 1:1 in all hospitals. Secondly all intubated patients get a chest x-ray every morning, which makes their condition clearer.

Witnessing the healthcare ecosystem of a developed nation indeed is an eye opener, it helped us look at our Needs from whole different perspective. Their procedures and methods cannot directly be adopted in India because of the massive difference in the service delivery process, but it can definitely serve as an inspiration for solutions. Australia could serve as a good market for problems common to both countries.

....from the notebook of Asish Mohandas and Team IndoAus