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New Zealand

Super’ stress spells trouble for aged care, health services

Fujitsu Australia Limited

Sydney, August 05, 2008

Australia’s aged care and health service providers must prepare to counter ‘superannuation stress’, with a new survey indicating more than three-quarters of the nation’s 5.6 million Baby Boomers are concerned about their ability to afford medical care.

Fujitsu Consulting’s survey, Baby Boomers Attitudes to Superannuation and Health Care, found 87 percent of Australians aged between 45-64 years found are more worried about their superannuation than they were 12 months ago.

Managing Consulting Director, Martin North said the survey built on Fujitsu’s 2007 report on the expectations of Baby Boomers, titled A Generational Shift: The Next Wave of Aged Care.

“One of the critical findings of our thought leadership paper was that Baby Boomers were ill-prepared for the financial demands of later life,” Mr North said.

“Between May and July this year, we surveyed 6,000 Baby Boomers to advance our understanding of their perception of their financial situation and future expectations.

“Baby Boomers represent 26 percent of Australia’s population. Most respondents valued their superannuation in the $200,000 to $400,000 range.

“As we analysed the results, our superannuation funds posted their worst-ever annual result, with national losses of approximately $60 billion.”

The survey showed that while some Baby Boomers will be confidently be able to fund their retirement and health care, many will be looking towards family or the government to cover health care costs. Private Health providers will happily provide services to those Boomers who can pay, but will walk away from the majority without the means to cover their ongoing health costs. This will put a significant additional pressure on the public purse.

“Health Insurance was seen by many as too expensive an option, we expect to see a significant reduction in those using this source of funding thanks to the recent budget changes,” Mr North said.

We envisage a future where the majority of Baby Boomers will be unable to adequately fund their medical needs.”

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • 69 percent regard superannuation as their main future source of income
  • 57 percent have no private health insurance
  • 15 percent do not know how they will fund their healthcare needs.

Fujitsu Australia Industry Director – Health Solutions, Mr Jeff Smoot, said Fujitsu was working with key stakeholders to counter ‘super’ stress.

“This week, Fujitsu will conduct a workshop at the Australian College of Health Service Executives’ National Congress to develop strategies and help avoid a full-blown paralysis of health services across the country,” Mr Smoot said.

“This issue has immediate ramifications for aged care providers, but we need clinicians, insurers, private and public hospital administrators and policy makers to help deliver next generation solutions.

“Baby Boomers want to stay in their own homes; only four percent live in aged care facilities.

“An individual who can monitor their health within an IT-enabled ‘ecosystem’ including their families and carers, seeking advice from clinicians when necessary, and take preventative measures to better protect their own wellbeing will help ease the burden on health services and sustain its workforce,” he said.

The Baby Boomers Attitudes to Superannuation and Health Care survey is the result of 6,000 telephone interviews conducted between May and July 2008. It is statistically representative against state, age cohorts and geo-demographics and highlights important areas for discussion and debate.

Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand

Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand is a leading service provider of business, information technology and communications solutions. Throughout Australia and New Zealand we partner with our customers to consult, design, build, operate and support business solutions. From strategic consulting to application and infrastructure solutions and services, Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand have earned a reputation as the single supplier of choice for leading corporate and government organisations. Fujitsu Australia Limited and Fujitsu New Zealand Limited are wholly owned subsidiaries of Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702).
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About Fujitsu Limited

Fujitsu is a leading provider of IT-based business solutions for the global marketplace. With approximately 160,000 employees supporting customers in 70 countries, Fujitsu combines a worldwide corps of systems and services experts with highly reliable computing and communications products and advanced microelectronics to deliver added value to customers. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 5.3 trillion yen (US$53 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008.
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Date: 05 August, 2008
City: Sydney
Company: Fujitsu Australia Limited