How to stem the growing tide of chronic illness

Multimorbidity, involving two or more chronic medical conditions, is on the rise. It is estimated a quarter of all Australians now have multiple chronic conditions.

We are all aware of the huge financial burden involved in managing chronic conditions in the hospital setting — not to mention the burden on patients and their families when their health has deteriorated to the point they need to be hospitalised.

We need to be better at preventing, detecting and managing chronic conditions in primary care.

The NHPA report confirms that rates of chronic disease vary widely across Australia, and as expected they are significantly higher in rural and remote areas. And of course, in contrast, there are fewer GPs per head of population in these areas.

This presents