Elections traditionally bring out bidding contests between the major parties as to which one will spend the most on "health".
We are supposed to believe that whichever party spends the most on health is doing the best job in that area.
This approach treats the health system as a bottomless pit which consumes an ever increasing percentage of the budget, and there is never enough money to "fix" it.
There is another alternative that lots of health professionals advocate, but which politicians have so far failed to recognise.
Instead of a system designed to treat illnesses after they occur, we could actually allocate some resources towards preventing more people from getting seriously ill in the first place. It's the old story of "Prevention is better than a cure."
This idea is one of the basics of the wellbeing movement, which has been growing steadily over the last 10-15 years.
Of course, adopting a lifestyle that would make us healthier and thus more likely to avoid serious diseases requires some effort and commitment. That's a choice for each of us to make.
Dr Ross Walker, a well- known heart surgeon and regular media commentator on health issues, has written a chapter in our book about health for retirees, in which he recommends five key lifestyle choices that people can adopt if they wish to significantly reduce the risk of contracting a serious illness.
1. The most powerful "drug" on the planet is contentment. Heart diseases and many common cancers occur more frequently in people suffering acute stress, social isolation, loneliness, discontent and clinical depression.
2. Exercise three to five hours per week - enough to raise the heart rate - plus consciously move our bodies more by walking, swimming or just being more active.
3. Eat less and eat more naturally.
4. Cultivate a regular sleep habit. Seven to eight hours of good quality sleep for adults offers major health and happiness benefits.
5. Quit any addictions. We all know that drug taking, smoking and excessive drinking are all bad for us, both physically and mentally.
You can read Dr Walker's full article, plus numerous other articles on the Wellness movement in our book "How to stay Healthy, Active and Sharp in Retirement". It's available on our web site at www.retirementbooks.com.au