26 September 2023

New 10-year Health strategy to focus on prevention

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The Department of Health has launched the National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030, which it says will rebalance the health system towards a stronger focus on preventive health.

In a statement, the Department said the Strategy was a powerful opportunity to build a stronger prevention system over the next 10 years.

“Currently, our health system is fundamentally focused on the treatment of illness and disease,” it said.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the profile of public health and prevention has been significantly elevated.

“Data from around the world and in Australia has demonstrated that individuals with preventable chronic conditions and vulnerabilities such as cardiovascular disease, smoking and obesity are at greater risk of adverse outcomes associated with COVID-19.”

The Department said this was a wake-up call to health systems worldwide, as it demonstrated that significantly more needed to be done outside of a pandemic to keep people healthy and well.

“The Strategy will assist in preventing diseases, reducing risk factors and keeping people healthy and well,” it said.

“It recognises that health is not just about having a disease or injury — it is a state of wellbeing.”

The Department said the Strategy had a number of clear aims, including that all Australians had the best start in life; that they lived in good health and wellbeing for as long as possible; and that health equity was achieved for priority populations.

It said, in addition, funding allocations to preventive health measures should be increased.

“The Strategy also includes targets that will be measured over the 10-year timeframe,” the Department said.

“It addresses the third pillar of Australia’s Long Term National Health Plan and will align to the 2020-25 National Health Reform Agreement.

It said more than 6,500 people had been involved in the development of the Strategy since 2019.

“The Department is currently developing a Blueprint for Action to guide the implementation of the strategy over the coming years,” the Department said.

The 84-page Strategy can be accessed at this PS News link.

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