CANBERRA, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Australians' confidence in the country's healthcare system has fallen, a survey has found.
According to the latest Australian Healthcare Index survey published by the Australian Patients Association (APA) recently, the overall rating of the health system has fallen from 7.8 out of 10 in March 2021 to 7.2 this year.
More than 11,000 participants in the survey identified three major concerns with the system: the cost of private health insurance, growing wait times in emergency departments and access to mental health care.
Almost one-quarter of respondents said their mental health has declined in the last six months and 59 percent who were seeking support said they waited more than three months.
Marcus Tan, chief executive of consumer healthcare platform Healthengine, said the findings indicated an "impending and significant" health crisis.
"The overall trend is heading in the wrong direction suggesting that the Australian healthcare system is under stress, likely leading to worse experiences and outcomes," he said in a media release.
It comes as COVID-19 cases continue to surge across Australia.
There were more than 25,000 new coronavirus infections and more than 50 deaths reported in Australia on Tuesday.
According to the latest data from the Department of Health, there were 3,006 cases being treated in Australian hospitals on Monday including 113 in intensive care.
As of Monday afternoon, a total of 7,822,716 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Australia, including 9,387 deaths, and 211,622 active cases.
Premier of South Australia (SA) Peter Malinauskas on Tuesday warned of a looming spike in cases after the BA.5 variant was detected in the state.