Airdate: Keeping Australia Alive

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Next month ABC premieres Keeping Australia Alive a 7 part documentary series which takes the temperature of the Australian health system.

The ITV series used 100 cameras to take a snapshot of the health system across a single day.

This series is about us. And it’s about the Australian health system. It’s both.

It’s a snapshot of what happens over a single day in our unique health service, stretched from one end of the continent to the other. How healthy is our health system? What are the challenges of distance, of recurring national problems (like obesity, melanoma, substance abuse and mental health)? These are the human stories (patients and staff), the character, jeopardy, drama and heart. This series is about us and our relationships; about joy, fear, uncertainty and hope.

As individuals our relationship with the health system begins when we are no more than the blue line on the pregnancy test and ends when we are a flat line on the ECG. By looking closely at our health system we also put ourselves under the microscope. How do we live? What do we value? What is the quality of our lives? What are our priorities? How do we want to live and die?

It is also about the future. With advances in medicine, the escalating costs of sophisticated or ongoing treatment, and our ever-aging population – how will we as a nation face the challenges ahead?

This landmark series will confront and surprise the audience with the real stories of what makes up Australia’s massive system of care and service, which we often take for granted. What are the inequities between public and private systems, between east and west, between country and city? What specific challenges do we face with a system that needs to cater for everything from the most remote indigenous community to the busiest city hospital?

What human dramas unfold, every day, within it and what do they tell us about ourselves? What do they tell us about modern Australia?

What do we (staff and patients) feel about our health care system? What does it mean to us collectively, as well as individually?

What do we discover when we dissect the health system– slicing through its layers, its wonder, its horror, its enormity, all on one selected, ordinary day?

Tuesday 15 March at 8.30pm on ABC.

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