18 October 2023

State Government releases new four-year vision for a healthier Victoria

| Travis Radford
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Mary-Anne Thomas.

Victorian Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas (centre) tabled the fourth Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan this month. Photo: Mary-Anne Thomas.

Victoria’s fourth legislated plan setting the direction for the improvement of public health and wellbeing in the state has been released.

The Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2023-2027 is the key framework for the whole of government and its partners, guiding work to prevent illness and protect the health and wellbeing of all Victorians.

Victorian Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas tabled the latest plan in parliament this month, outlining the government’s key priorities over the next four years.

“We’ve developed this Health and Wellbeing Plan based on expert advice and the latest population health data – it shows that together we can take action to protect health, prevent illness and ensure Victorians are healthier than ever before,” she said.

“We’ve connected with the community, different levels of government and have brought the views and input of Victorians together to shape this four-year vision, and guide us towards a healthier future.”

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More than a third of the disease experienced by Australians is preventable and the updated plan aims to address risk factors to keep Victorians healthy and free of preventable health conditions, including by improving health equity and removing barriers some populations experience in accessing health and wellbeing services. To this end, the plan identifies 10 priority areas for action over the plan period.

The areas are selected because they have been identified as key drivers for ill-health and represent areas where sustained action can have the biggest impact on health and wellbeing. They are:

  • Decreasing antimicrobial resistance across human and animal health
  • Tackling climate change and its impacts on health
  • Improving sexual health and reproductive health
  • Reducing harm from tobacco and e-cigarette use
  • Reducing harm from alcohol and drug use
  • Preventing all forms of violence
  • Increasing healthy eating
  • Increasing active living
  • Improving wellbeing
  • Reducing injury

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The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 requires a state public health and wellbeing plan to be prepared every four years, with the first plan released in September 2011.

It also requires local councils to prepare municipal public health and wellbeing plans every four years with regard to the state’s public health and wellbeing plan.

These plans guide the work of state and local governments, health services and providers, businesses and employers and the wider community.

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