Australia could surpass Japan as 'lowest death rate' country

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Sydney, Oct 14 (UNI) Australia could take the first slot as the country with lowest death rate by tackling preventable diseases and suicide rate, a health research said.

According to report in the Medical Journal of Australia, it has the potential to take first place in the near future by surpassing Japan and achieve the world's lowest death rate, The Age reported.

The latest OECD figures have confirmed that death rate in Australia is declining rapidly, with the nation now rivalling Switzerland for the second-lowest ranking worldwide after Japan.

''This could realistically be achieved by benchmarking performance nationally and internationally,'' Professor Ian Ring from the Centre for Health Service Development at University of Wollongong said.

''Becoming the best requires redirection of health policies to focus on the issues with most potential for improvement, and for Australia to lift its game on the use of national health information and above all, to avoid resource-free policies,'' he added.

Professor Ring and his colleague argued that Australia's current position was being diminished by premature deaths from several potentially preventable conditions.

The death rate could be improved by working more in the area of circulatory diseases, suicide, injury and violence, smoking-related conditions and cancer, they said.

''Elimination of the 17-18 year difference in life expectancy between indigenous Australians and their non-indigenous counterparts would add about five months to the total life expectancy of Australians,'' the authors wrote.

Prof Ring said Australia's indigenous death rate gap was larger than comparable rates in New Zealand, Canada and the US.

UNI

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