National Preventive Health Strategy – towards better health for all Australians

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

‘The National Preventive Health Strategy points the way towards better health for all Australians – and the government is to be commended for it,’ says Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Chief Executive John Gregg.

The Strategy recognises the importance of cross sectoral partnerships to tackling the complex challenges in pursuing the preventive health agenda; and acknowledges the need for strong leadership and governance, dedicated funding and better evaluation.

‘AHHA has long advocated for the need to increase investment in prevention, and it is pleasing to see commitment in the Strategy,’ says Mr Gregg. ‘However, it will be critical that investment targets are met more immediately to leverage the health benefits of the Strategy.

‘We know that COVID and extended lockdowns are causing delays in diagnoses and treatments, the Strategy sets out a framework to improve people’s access to and use of preventative health services, including cancer screening.  

‘The support for linkages and collaboration within primary care contained within the Strategy will build on the inherent capabilities of primary health care professionals. However, delivering on team-based models of care that recognise the contributions of nurses, allied health and the social system will be essential.

‘Integrating local services provided and coordinated by Primary Health Networks and local hospital networks or health districts will go a long way towards providing treatment at early stage of disease for better health outcomes.

‘Ensuring the silos of health data are addressed will require nationally consistent data standards and data collection for primary care, with all stakeholders working towards a common goal. This will enable rapid developments in technology to revolutionise, not just mobilise, opportunities for preventive health.

‘We are also pleased to see the strength of the recognition by government for the environmental determinants of health; as well as ensuring that preventive health interventions are underpinned by evidence,’ says Mr Gregg.

AHHA welcomes involvement in the development of the ‘Prioritisation Framework’ and ‘Blueprint for Action’.

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) is the national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, Primary Health Networks, and community and primary healthcare services.

Media enquiries:  John Gregg, Chief Executive, AHHA
0410 931 460