Submission to Senate Inquiry into Australia’s response to WHO Social Determinants of Health report

FARE’s submission to the Senate Inquiry into Australia’s domestic response to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Commission on Social Determinants of Health report: Closing the gap within a generation. Within this submission FARE has addressed each of the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry, making eight recommendations for the Commonwealth Government.

Recommendations

  1. That the Commonwealth Government develops and implements a new National Alcohol Strategy that is informed by the ‘Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol’.
  2. That the Commonwealth Government supports the inclusion of a target for a ten per cent relative reduction in persons aged 15+ alcohol per capita consumption (APC) in the ‘Global monitoring framework and targets for the prevention and control of Non Communicable Diseases’(NCDs).
  3. That the Commonwealth Government adopts a social determinants of health approach in addressing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and implement the actions outlined in the ‘Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education’s Australian FASD Action Plan 2013-2016’.
  4. That the Commonwealth Government continues to provide funding for the Australian National Preventive Health Agency to coordinate policy development and programs to prevent alcohol-related harms.
  5. That the Commonwealth Government develops a national data repository for alcohol-related harms.
  6. That the South Australian, Victorian, Tasmanian and New South Wales Governments recommence the collection of alcohol sales data to better inform alcohol policy.
  7. That the National Perinatal Minimum Dataset includes standardised questions about alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
  8. That the Commonwealth Government adopts a ‘health in all policies’ approach to public policy development which includes the establishment of health benchmarks and monitoring structures to ensure cross government action is being implemented and targets achieved.

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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