Australia: the healthiest country by 2020
National Preventative Health Strategy – the roadmap for action
7.5 Strategic directions
The Taskforce has identified seven critical strategic directions to be developed and implemented consistently and collectively for the National Preventative Health Strategy to be effective. Learnings from tobacco control and other prevention strategies show that addressing some strategies selectively but not others, or downgrading a strategy just as progress becomes apparent, will significantly reduce overall effectiveness.
To ensure the development of a comprehensive approach to prevention, the strategic directions are:
- Shared responsibility – developing strategic partnerships – at all levels of government, industry, business, unions, the non-government sector, research institutions and communities.
- Act early and throughout life – working with individuals, families and communities.
- Engage communities – act and engage with people where they live, work and play (for example, in the most relevant settings: home, school, workplaces and community). Inform, enable and support people to make healthy choices.
- Influence markets and develop connected and coherent policies – for example, through taxation, responsive regulation, and through coherent and connected policies.
- Reduce inequity through targeting disadvantage – especially low SES population groups.
- Indigenous Australians – contribute to 'Close the Gap'
- Refocus primary healthcare towards prevention - one of the most important sectors of the health system for preventative health. Each of these strategic directions will require strong infrastructure to support action, coordinated and driven via the National Prevention Agency (NPA). The key elements of this infrastructure – prevention research, effective social marketing, national data, surveillance and monitoring of progress, workforce development and the development of the most effective funding models for prevention – are described later in this chapter.