Prevention 1st

Prevention 1st Forum wrap-up

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 by La Trobe University’s Professor Alan Shiell, Preventive health: How much does Australia spend and is it enough?, has looked at the investment in preventive health, and found Australia ranks poorly on the world stage and that governments must spend more wisely to contain our burgeoning healthcare budget.

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.



See Alan Shiell’s presentation

See Prof Rosemary Calder’s presentation

See Dr Alessandro Demaio’s presentation

See Rohan Greenland’s presentation

View the full report

Chronic diseases are responsible for 83 per cent of all premature deaths in Australia and 66 per cent of the burden of disease, making it our nation’s greatest health challenge.

Conditions such as heart disease, stroke, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, lung disease and type 2 diabetes, are all too common in Australia, placing great pressure on our healthcare systems as they struggle to deal with the increasing flow of patients.

Dealing with these diseases comes at a $27 billion cost to the Australian community and accounts for more than a third (36%) of our national health budget. Unless we act, these problems will worsen. As the population ages, this burden will grow, placing an even greater pressure on our already overstretched healthcare system.

Australia urgently needs a strategy to prevent these conditions from occurring and to halt the increase in disease, disability and death.

This is where Prevention 1st comes in.

Prevention 1st is a campaign by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), Alzheimer’s Australia, and the Consumers Health Forum of Australia, calling on all Australian governments and political parties to commit to a strong preventive health agenda to tackle Australia’s greatest health challenge. Prevention 1st will pursue every opportunity to express the need for action on public policy that the evidence shows will stop and prevent the rising burden of chronic disease.


Add your voice

Prevention 1st is a campaign backed by like-minded public health organisations, not-for-profits, and research and advocacy bodies.

Add your organisation’s voice to the efforts to advocate for evidence-based policies and programs which will benefit all Australians. By doing this you are sending a very clear message to our political representatives to prioritise public health prevention and reduce Australia’s burden of chronic disease.

For further information contact Ms Amy Ferguson at amy.ferguson@fare.org.au.

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