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A short historical survey of the relationship between government and the medical profession in Australia


Section: First Settlement to Federation
1788 - 1901

During the eleven decades from First Fleet to Federation, many of the embryonic elements of Australia's current health system were established.

The basic roles of civil society, the medical professions and government became apparent. Humanitarian welfare aspirations sprang from civil society. Doctors, nurses and other health carers performed the actual services, improved their scientific effectiveness, and developed the ethical values governing the delivery of those services. Government provided financial assistance and sought to regulate health service activities as required in the public interest.

During this period, basic concepts evolved to improve public health, to establish, improve and fund medical services, and to extend their availability to more of the population.

Some of the most notable developments were practitioner qualification and registration, public and private hospitals, specialist hospitals (psychiatric, women's, children's, infectious diseases), honorary visiting medical officers, private medical practice, government salaried hospital medical practitioners, government-funded medical and public health research, private health insurance, community- and risk-rating, fee-for-service and capitation forms of payment for doctor services, hospital boards of management, medical boards, teaching hospitals, university medical schools, professional associations, quarantine, compulsory immunisation, compulsory notification of certain infectious diseases and sanitation and water-supply development.

1788

1801

1811

1813

1814

1815

1816

1817

1820

1827

1831

1835

1838

1839

1840s

1843

1846

1847

1848

1850s

1851

1855

1857

1858

1859

1862

1864

1868

1873

1874

1875

1880s

1884

1886

1889

1890

1890s

1894

1896

1899

1900





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