A 30-minute Sydney is an ambitious but achievable goal – it will be the combination of our efforts that can make it a reality. We sat down with Rohan Hammett, Deloitte’s Asia Pacific Health Care Leader to find out what improved liveability means for healthcare.

Sydney is one of the great cities of the world, with a number of attractive elements. This is particularly so if you have good access to them. Beyond bricks and mortar, Sydney is following global trends in healthcare delivery.

Virtual healthcare and mobile care centres will allow patients to interact with healthcare professionals 24 hours, seven days a week and reduce the number of hospital beds required by an ageing population.

St Vincent’s Hospital is currently developing a virtual care centre, which will provide monitoring for remote patients using wearable technology and Prince of Wales Hospital is trialling Apple watches and machine learning to manage high-risk cardiac patients to deliver better outcomes. Cognitive technologies, software robots, avatars, artificial intelligence and sophisticated data analytics that provide new insights into patterns of healthcare utilisation are transforming the way we think about healthcare and enabling better ways of helping people live a healthy life.

It is important to recognise that healthcare is not just an expense to the public, but a key enabler of economic prosperity. Research shows that a one-year increase in a population’s lifespan equates to a net increase of GDP of 1%. Further, a healthier population requires less expenditure on healthcare resources.

There is a role for both federal and state governments to provide the right incentives for innovation, including the necessary funding, policy and regulatory drivers, to encourage hospital managers, clinicians and the private sector to engage in building smarter health systems that make best use of health spending to deliver better health outcomes.

Active transport also needs to be considered as the government plans for a polycentric city as it seeks to ensure its ageing population remains healthy and active and avoids the frailty that can accompany ageing where activity is not maintained. Activity should be built into the routine of life, and enabling this regular exercise, along with continuing to reduce smoking rates and moderating consumption of alcohol and sugar will encourage health and wellness in the community.

Healthcare is an important contributor to wellbeing and an enjoyable life, and Sydneysiders generally have good access to healthcare. That said, with a growing population and historical patterns of healthcare provision in and around the CBD, healthcare services have not always increased in line with the population growth in Western and South Western Sydney.

Investments by government and the private sector will help achieve 30-minute access to hospitals, with hospital redevelopments slated for Liverpool, Westmead, Blacktown, Nepean and Campbelltown, and planning for a new hospital at Rouse Hill is underway.

How can we create greater liveability for Sydneysiders? Read more blogs on how we can make Sydney a 30-minute city here, or visit our ImagineSydney: Live webpage.


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