THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN AUSTRALIA

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The process of making and enforcing rules is referred to as the legal system. It explains how various kinds of laws are drafted and enacted in different countries and states. As a result, the Australian legal system represents how Australians live their lives following the rule of law. The Australian legal system is regarded as one of the most common law-based traditional systems in the world. Its qualities and attributes stem from English colonial rule, which began in the 14th century. The common law traditions were all derived from local customs that were codified and applied equally in the court of Kings.
The Australian Constitution covers six States in three self-governing territories including Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Australia. These States, however, have their own laws, governments, and parliaments. Moreover, judicial precedent, separation of powers, and procedural fairness govern their operations. On the other hand, the legislative and executive arms of the government work together to ensure policies and the rule of law are aligned to one another (Malpas, George, Kaisar and Radford 2016, p.2402). Some of the distinguishing features of the Australian legal system are discussed below;

The Australian legal system recognizes the importance of the hierarchy of courts in the legal decision-making process. The hierarchy of courts allows for the decentralization and consistency of decision-making process from higher courts to lower courts. The superior courts are categorized into federal courts, family courts, and high courts. The federal courts preside over family and divorce related cases while federal courts usually hear serious cases within the federal jurisdiction. Examples of cases presented to federal courts include taxation, bankruptcy, industrial relations, and corporation laws among others. High court acts as the final court of appeal for constitutional cases.

The lower courts like State and territory courts preside over criminal cases within the States. Other courts like Children Courts, intermediate courts, and Coroner Courts also fall under this category in the hierarchy. Coroner’s courts, however, are a special category of courts that only deals with cases involving unexplained deaths (Malpas, George, Kaisar and Radford 2016, p.2402). Cases involving manslaughter, arson or murder also falls under this court as per the Australian legal system. Moreover, the court has a counseling Service ensuring that people get information about coronial process especially challenges that come with grief and loss of loved ones.

Health Care Delivery Services

Vanessa was taken to Hornsby Hospital using ambulance immediately after she was hit on the head. There is evidence of ambulance or paramedic services that provided transport to and from the medical facilities. Hornsby Hospital provided both ambulance transport service, inpatient, and outpatient health care services (Milovanovich, 2007). At Hornsby Hospital, she underwent a CT scan, which revealed that she had a depressed focal skull fracture. Vanessa was then transferred to Royal North Shore Hospital where she was admitted as an inpatient for other treatments. The two hospitals provided secondary health care services since they had specialized physicians and health professionals who diagnosed Vanessa and found out the causes of her health problem. Moreover, they provided emergency services for the patient. Moreover, the facilities provided neurosurgical services, CT scans, ambulatory services, and other secondary health services for inpatient and outpatients.

Beneficence and Non-Maleficence

Beneficence is referred to as the actions that are taken by the health professional to free patients from harm or pain caused by the illness. In general, beneficence is action taken with the aim of improving other people’s situations (Ekstrand and Michael, 2016). Physicians and other health professionals are tasked with the responsibilities of preventing may harm that their actions may cause to the patients. Thus, physicians must strive to promote the health of patients who are under their care. Other obligations are rescuing of patients who are in danger. Non-Maleficence is the attempts by physicians to refrain from the provision of ineffective treatments to patients. Physicians, thus, strike a balance between benefits of their treatment recommendations and the burden it may pose to the patients. They assess the risks involved with their treatments before taking any actions.

Based on the case of Vanessa, there are various instances where the issues of beneficence and non-maleficence arise. In various instances, cases of individual errors by the nurses and doctors, miscommunication, poor recording, and poor human resource management led to the death of Vanessa. As reported by the Deputy State Coroner, the errors and omission were continually detected but continued to build up during the whole treatment process. For instance, the fact that Dr. Bezyan was given responsibilities on her fist day in the neurosurgery unit was endangering the life of Vanessa since she did not understand most of the procedures (Ekstrand and Michael, 2016). The doctors in the surgery unit also failed to conduct neurological examinations within the stated timelines and did not consult with the treating doctors regarding the correct quantity of analgesia to be given to Vanessa. In other instances, the medical staff failed to follow Dr. Little’s instructions on how to administer Dilantin and monitor Dilantin chart. Moreover, they failed to assess the concerns regarding Dilantin that were raised by Dr. Anderson thereby ignoring the side effects.

The issues of beneficence and non-maleficence are widespread in the interaction between Vanessa and the entire medical staff of the two hospitals. Although the Hornsby Hospital’s problem was indecision, regarding where to transfer Vanessa after their CT scan result revealed skull fracture, Royal Hospital’s staff largely contributed to her death. Through their poor communication, management, and decision-making, they endangered the life of Vanessa (Niven, Leigh and Stelfox, 2016).

In attempts to address the issue of beneficence and non-maleficence in health practice, physicians should evaluate their actions and try to balance the impacts of their actions and the benefits that patients may derive from them. Besides, they should strive to improve the outcomes of treatments given to the patients under their care by evaluating every single step they make as far as treatments are concerned. The post-modern result showed that Vanessa’s death was caused by blunt force that injured the head. Moreover, contribution of the physicians due to their inability to carry out their roles diligently and prevent any harm caused to Vanessa was also cited. The coronary established that the problems in experienced in the Australian healthcare system are due to the inefficiencies that results from poor management and lack of proper supervision of different health care facilities.

References

Ekstrand, J.D., and Michael D.E., 2016. “First do no harm: Considering and minimizing harm in recommender systems designed for engendering health.” In Engendering Health Workshop at the RecSys 2016 Conference.

Malpas, T.M., George, S.M., Kaisar, J.M. and Radford, D.J., 2016. A retrospective study of judicial encounters of young adults with congenital heart disease. Journal of health psychology, 21(10), pp.2409-2419.

Milovanovich, C., Inquest into the death of Vanessa Ann Anderson. Westmead File No. 161/2007. Sydney: NSW Coroner’s Court Westmead, 2008.

Niven, D.J., Leigh, J.P. and Stelfox, H.T., 2016, September. Ethical considerations in the de-adoption of ineffective or harmful aspects of healthcare. In Healthcare Management Forum (Vol. 29, No. 5, pp. 214-217). Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.

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