Australia: the healthiest country by 2020
National Preventative Health Strategy – the roadmap for action
This Strategy sets out a vision for Australia to be the healthiest country by 2020. To realise this vision, the Strategy provides the roadmap for a series of strategic and practical actions, to be implemented across all sectors and by all Australians between now and 2020. This is a major challenge for the nation, but the rewards will be immense in terms of lives saved, and improved health and wellbeing.
In April 2008 the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Nicola Roxon MP, appointed the National Preventative Health Taskforce to develop a National Preventative Health Strategy, focusing in the first instance on obesity, tobacco and alcohol. (The terms of reference and details of membership of the Taskforce are set out in Appendices 1 and 2.)
Significant shifts towards prevention in Australia continued in 2005 driven by the Productivity Commission’s Research Report on the Economic Implications of an Ageing Australia. The Report projected future cost pressures on the healthcare system, expected as a consequence of changes to demographic ageing in Australia. In light of this projection, in 2006, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) established the Australian Better Health Initiative (ABHI), with the aim of refocusing the health system towards promoting good health and reducing the burden of chronic disease.
The Rudd Government made a pre-election commitment in 2007, endorsing the connection between better health and economic productivity, noting the need to: