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Funding for preventative health initiatives reduced: Australia’s Health 2016 report

Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Psychology, The Health Industry

The Australia’s Health 2016 report has revealed that funding for prevention initiatives has reduced from 2.2% (2008) to 1.4%, contrary to the belief that prevention is better than cure. This goes against the expectation of 76% of Australians that investment in preventive health should be one of the top ten priorities.

Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) CEO Michael Moore said that if more money was invested in the prevention of chronic disease, the pressure on hospitals would decrease and Australians would have a better quality of life.

While the report shows decreased smoking rates and alcohol consumption, healthy food consumption is still a challenge as there has been a rise in obesity and chronic disease which will increase spending on hospital admissions. While 85 out of 100 Australians say they’re healthy, the report shows that 50 have at least one chronic disease.

Findings showcased in the report:

  • Life expectancy is increasing
  • 85% Australians said their health is good; however 19% have a disability, 20% a mental health disorder, and 50% at least one chronic disease
  • 13% Australians smoke daily, 18% drink alcohol at risky levels, and 95% do not consume the healthy food recommended
  • While 55% do enough physical activity, 63% are overweight or obese.
  • Compared with people living in the highest socioeconomic areas, people living in the lowest socioeconomic areas generally live about 3 years less, are 1.6 times as likely to have more than one chronic health condition, and are 3 times as likely to smoke daily
  • Indigenous Australians continue to have a lower life expectancy, more than 10 years shorter than for non-Indigenous Australians. They also continue to have higher rates of diseases such as diabetes, end-stage kidney disease and coronary heart disease
  • There are concerns of lower life expectancy and higher rates of disease and injury in people living in rural and remote areas

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