14 December 2021.

Australia has committed to powerful preventive health action that will improve the health and wellbeing of Australians by 2030, with this week’s release of the National Preventive Health Strategy.

decorative icon for the national preventive health strategy

The Strategy, launched 13 December by the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, sets out a ten-year approach to prevention that addresses the wider determinants of health, reduces health inequities and decreases the overall burden of disease.

Until now, Australia’s health system has focused predominantly on the treatment of illness and disease. And while we have one of the best health systems in the world, it’s still estimated that on average, Australians live almost 11 years in poor health, or around 13 percent of their lives.

A strong preventive health system is key to building healthier communities, and the Strategy includes numerous approaches designed to improve the health of Australians across all stages of life.

The Sax Institute is proud to have worked closely with the Department to contribute to the development of the Strategy, and particularly welcomes the Strategy’s focus on a systems-based approach to prevention.

For example, the Strategy emphasises collaborative research models for effective evidence translation between researchers and policy makers, as well as national guidelines for high-quality evaluations to support health policy, program development and implementation.

Critically, the Strategy also points to the importance of collaboration with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) and co-designed research led by communities – all valuable drivers of prevention that the Sax Institute has championed since 2008 with our Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH), Australia’s largest ongoing study of the health of urban Aboriginal children and their families.

“We welcome the Strategy’s approach, which recognises that the root causes of ill-health are complex and interrelated,” said the Sax Institute’s CEO, Professor Sally Redman AO.

“The focus on research and policy working together, and improving health equity are also important inclusions that we strongly support.”

Read the full National Preventive Health Strategy

Find out more about the Sax Institute’s involvement here.