Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are increasing in prevalence and straining health systems globally. This creates a so-called ‘burden of disease', which can be traced in terms of fiscal health system matters and in terms of quality of life and lived experiences of people with NCDs. The United Nations has called for a global agenda to manage NCDs and reduce their burden.
The purpose of this article is to summarise key findings from the Serious and Continuing Illness Policy and Practice Study concerning patients' and carers' experiences of multimorbid NCDs in Australia. We focus on the relevance of findings for policy and general practitioners in Australia.
We suggest that a complex multimorbidity policy is needed to contextualise and guide single-illness NCD policies. Our research suggests that specialist NCD nurses and allied health professionals could have important roles in improving care coordination between general practices and community health centres.