Preventative Health Taskforce - Media Release

The National Preventative Health Taskforce will release a discussion paper this September on the Australian Government’s blueprint for refocussing the health system on prevention.

Page last updated: 07 July 2008

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7 July 2008

The National Preventative Health Taskforce will release a discussion paper this September on the Australian Government’s blueprint for refocussing the health system on prevention.

Public comment on the discussion paper will assist the taskforce to develop the National Preventative Health Strategy to guide the Government in tackling the burden of chronic disease currently caused by obesity, tobacco, and excessive consumption of alcohol.

The strategy is central to heading off an unsustainable burden of chronic disease, taking pressure off our public hospitals, and improving our workforce participation and productivity.

The taskforce will consult extensively in developing the strategy. The discussion paper will set out a framework for the strategy and key issues. A draft of the strategy will then be completed and released for comment in March 2009 before the finalised strategy itself is handed to the Government in June 2009.

Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon, who recently announced the creation of the Taskforce, said the time was ripe for a major overhaul of Australia’s efforts on prevention.

“Creating a greater focus on prevention is at the core of the Government’s health reform agenda.”

“Australia needs a health care system that keeps people well, not just one that looks after them when they are sick. I look forward to seeing the results of the Taskforce’s work.”

Chair of the Taskforce, Professor Rob Moodie, said his team would engage a wide range of stakeholders in consultations over the coming months.

“Prevention is one of the most challenging of all health issues,” Professor Moodie said.

“We need advice from every quarter and are looking to engage consumers, employers, town planners, the transport sector, community organisations, the food and alcohol sectors, clinicians and allied health professionals very closely.”

“To prevent people having to make multiple similar submissions, the taskforce will examine relevant publicly available submissions made to the 2020 Summit, the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission, and the House of Representatives Inquiry into Obesity. But we will still be calling for wider comment.”

Professor Moodie encouraged anyone interested to submit their ideas at www.preventativehealth.org.au.

For any inquiries, please contact the Health Minister’s office 02 6277 7220

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