Submission on chronic disease prevention and management

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) and the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) provided a submission to the Standing Committee on Health’s Inquiry into best practice in chronic disease prevention and management in primary health care, which reviews the current state of preventive health. FARE and PHAA make 11 recommendations to aid in Australia’s efforts to meet the World Health Organization’s targets to reduce the burden of chronic disease and achieve a 25 per cent reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by the year 2025.

Recommendations

  1. That the Committee recognises chronic disease as Australia’s greatest health challenge.
  2. That the Committee recommends that the Commonwealth Government establish firm targets that contribute towards achieving the World Health Organization’s overall target of reducing premature death by 25 per cent by 2025.
  3. That the Committee acknowledges that prevention must be a priority in strategies to reduce the burden of chronic disease.
  4. That the Committee recommends the Commonwealth Government adopt the following policy objectives to reduce the burden of disease:
    1. A focus on prevention to stem the tide of chronic diseases in Australia.
    2. Addressing the four major risk factors of chronic diseases: alcohol, tobacco, diet and physical activity.
    3. Using an evidence-based approach to minimise the ever increasing cost to our health system.
    4. Addressing the health inequality and disparity so everyone has the chance to live a healthy life.
  5. That the Committee recommends the Commonwealth Government outline their commitment to achieve the World Health Organization’s targets which Australia has adopted to prevent chronic diseases and to publically report against the progress in reaching these targets. In doing this, the government must recognise that there is currently no plan in place to achieve these targets, and recognise the urgency in achieving this in ten years.
  6. That the Committee recommends the Commonwealth Government implement a tax system developed to minimise economic externalities, encourage healthier choices, and maximise benefits to the community.
  7. That the Committee recommends the Commonwealth Government increase the access to information at the point of consumption through adequate labelling on alcohol, food and tobacco.
  8. That the Committee recommends the Commonwealth Government regulate of the promotion and marketing for products that are associated with increased risk of chronic diseases.
  9. That the Committee recommends the Commonwealth Government provide individuals and communities the opportunity to live in a safe environment that supports healthy decisions through regulating the availability of products that are associated with increased risk of chronic diseases.
  10. That the Committee recommends the Commonwealth Government provide a greater provision of information to increase awareness and education on the importance of prevention, particularly in regard to the four common risk factors.
  11. That the Committee recommends the Commonwealth Government increase the expenditure on preventive health to ensure that resources are appropriately allocated to address the burden of chronic diseases.

FARE supports policy reforms that contribute to a reduction in alcohol-related harms in Australia. Our policy work is informed by the evidence of what is most effective in reducing alcohol-related harms. We support the progression of population-based health measures, which take into consideration the far reaching and complex impacts of alcohol-related harms.

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