Today’s report of the Preventative Health Taskforce underlines the importance of preventative health measures in making Australia healthier and more productive, says BCA Chief Executive Katie Lahey.
The BCA strongly supports the government’s greater focus on preventative health and the report’s emphasis on responses across different levels of government.
“Preventing the onset of chronic conditions is Australia’s greatest health challenge in the early decades of this century,” Ms Lahey said.
“This is a thoughtful report that outlines the extent of the task ahead but also recognises the importance of seeking out and addressing underlying causes.
“We particularly welcome the taskforce’s recognition of the role that workplaces can and are already playing in enhancing health. We applaud the emphasis on evidence-based and best-practice approaches to policy.
“We also support the report’s objective of reducing the national rates of smoking, obesity and risky alcohol consumption.
“The government now has a huge amount of expert input on the Australian health system, primary health care, and preventative health.
“We look forward to working closely with the government as it develops these proposals into a comprehensive national health strategy,” she said.
The BCA described the health and economic advantages of preventative health strategies in its Fit for the Job report earlier this year.
It will be important for Australia to adopt only preventative health measures that are well researched, known to be effective and do not have unintended consequences, particularly where those measures will add to costs and the complexity of regulation. The OECD has been clear in its warnings that much effort and resource can be wasted on ineffective programs.