Date Published: 11 March 2009

Preventative Health to Benefit from Alcopops Revenue

Health News from Australia.

As a result of the revenue from the Government’s alcopops measure, the Rudd Government is investing $872 million in preventative health - including initiatives focusing on alcohol abuse, healthy eating and physical activity and breastfeeding initiatives.

This is the single largest investment ever made by an Australian Government in preventative health.

This is what the alcopops measure has made possible – more investment in health, including in tackling alcohol abuse.

At the time the alcopops measure was announced, Health Minister Nicola Roxon said:

This change will see the single biggest investment ever by a Commonwealth Government into preventative health measures.”

The investment in prevention announced at last year’s COAG meeting fulfils this commitment.

Measures include:

* Healthy Workers – Healthy living initiatives will be rolled out through workplaces. Employers will be assisted to implement programs to reduce the risk profiles of their workforces, including risks from excessive use of alcohol, through risk assessment and modification services.
* Healthy Children – Programs targeted at kids aged under 16 through child care centres, preschools, schools and families. Programs aimed at preventing alcohol abuse may be included.
* Healthy Communities – Programs will be rolled out nationally through local government organisations in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas.

There is a looming tsunami of chronic diseases that threatens the sustainability of our health system.

There are around 670,000 preventable hospital admissions every year.

Without a significant investment in prevention, and an increased focus on keeping people well and out of hospital, our health system will suffer in the years to come.

More detail of what will be included in the National Preventative Health Partnership is provided below.

Healthy Children measures to be delivered by States and Territories could include:

* Intensive programs to support at-risk children achieve healthy weight
* Healthy eating and exercise programs in children’s settings
* Investing in capital infrastructure like bike paths
* Supporting and expanding breastfeeding programs
* New initiatives to target childhood obesity

Healthy Workers measures to be delivered by States and Territories could include:

* Subsidising employers to provide risk assessment and counselling services to employees
* Providing programs directly into workplaces
* Subsidising employers to structure physical activity and healthy eating into the workday

Healthy Communities measures to be delivered by the Commonwealth will include:

* Funding the roll out of community based healthy lifestyle interventions in disadvantaged areas
* Funding healthy living coordinators to manage programs and recruit participants

There will also be investment in social marketing, to promote healthy living messages, including campaigns targeted at reducing obesity and smoking; and in health infrastructure, including a national preventative health agency and a preventative health research fund.

The Government has already committed to $53 million investment in our National Binge Drinking Strategy, and the National Preventative Health Taskforce is canvassing a range of further options to tackle alcohol abuse in the community.



Also in the News:

Dounreay restrictions to stay in place - 11 Mar '09

Help us achieve a smoke free Scotland for our children - 11 Mar '09

RCN and WellChild call for more Community Children's Nurses - 10 Mar '09

UK Charity calls for improved drugs and alcohol support services for gay men - 10 Mar '09

AMA Celebrates Patient Safety Awareness Week - 10 Mar '09

AMA Physicians Work for Health Care Reform - 10 Mar '09

NSW Health confirms whooping cough death - 10 Mar '09

Advancing health across generations - 10 Mar '09

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