The verdict is in: Prevention is better than cure when it comes to tackling Australia’s chronic disease burden, but is Australia pulling its weight when it comes to tackling the nation’s greatest public health challenge?
A new economic report has examined what Australia invests in preventive health and found that Australia ranks poorly with comparable countries and finds governments must spend more wisely to contain the burgeoning healthcare budget.
One in two Australians suffer from chronic disease, which is responsible for 83 per cent of all premature deaths in Australia, and accounts for 66 per cent of the burden of disease.
The report, Preventive health: How much does Australia spend and is it enough? was co-funded by the Heart Foundation, Kidney Australia, Alzheimer’s Australia, the Australia Health Promotion Association and the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.
La Trobe University’s, Department of Public Health report examines trends in preventive health spending, comparing Australia’s spending on preventive health, as well as the funding models used, against selected Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
The report was launched at a forum at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 14 June, featuring a presentation from co-author Professor Alan Shiell, and leading health experts Dr Alessandro Demaio (WHO), Rohan Greenland (Heart Foundation), Professor Rosemary Calder, (Australian Health Policy Collaboration), and the ACT Government’s Health Minister Megaan Fitzharris.
The event also saw addresses from the Hon Catherine King MP, Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare, and Senator Richard Di Natale, Leader of the Australian Greens.