Public Health Association welcomes focus on preventive health

07 February, 2017

The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) President, David Templeman, is encouraged by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s announcement on preventative health at the National Press Club recently.

The Australian Government will place "in 2017, a new focus on preventive health will give people the right tools and information to live active and healthy lives."

"PHAA's believes that health protection, promotion, prevention are essential to improving the health of individuals and populations," said Templeman.

"Preventive health care measures will be critical to reducing the coming impact of chronic disease on Australians and on our economy."

"The evidence is in. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Australia's health 2016 report shows that funding for health prevention initiatives in Australia has reduced from 2008 levels of 2.2% to 1.4%."

"Combine this with the rise in chronic disease and the number of Australian's with multiple chronic diseases also increasing, our health capacity and response capability is severely compromised."

"A new focus is needed, particularly on the key drivers of increasing chronic disease in our society and start tackling the causes of the causes before people require major treatment interventions and hospitalisation."

A 2014 report by the McKinsey Global Institute concluded that the costs caused by tobacco use, obesity and alcohol abuse were the 1st, 3rd and 4th most expensive social burdens on the world economy.

"So the Prime Minister's commitment today that his government's 2017 agenda includes a specific focus on preventive health is fantastic news," said Templeman.

"His government's response could significantly improve the future wellbeing of all Australia's individuals and families, as well as the productive strength of our economy."