Invest in preventive health for a healthier Australia

28 Jul 2016

The AMA is encouraging the Government to invest in preventive health measures to improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians. AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said this week that preventive health is core business for family doctors, and strong investment in preventive health will save lives.

“Preventive health is not only an investment in the health of our nation, it is an investment in Australia’s economic productivity. Chronic diseases are responsible for nine out of 10 deaths in Australia, and reductions in productivity and quality of life. When risk factors for chronic diseases and conditions are detected early and addressed, it reduces the need for more expensive hospital admissions,” Dr Gannon said.

“The Government uses concerns about the sustainability of the health system to justify funding cuts, but instead of making short-sighted and short-term savings, it should invest in preventing disease in the first place. Australia spends significantly less on prevention and public health than comparable countries including New Zealand, Finland, and Canada.

“With the exception of tobacco control, there has been little or no progress against the national targets for preventing and controlling risk factors for chronic disease. As a nation, we can do better,” Dr Gannon said.

Full media release