Submission to the National Preventative Health Taskforce Discussion Paper ‘Australia: The Healthiest Country by 2020’

The BCA has only recently sought to contribute to the health reform debate.

Despite its comparatively short review of the issues facing Australian healthcare, it is clear that tackling the growing burden of chronic disease is a key priority. Preventative interventions that reduce the incidence and severity of chronic disease must be a major plank in this strategy.

The BCA supports efforts to halt and reverse obesity, reduce the smoking rate to 9 per cent or less, and to reduce the incidence of risky alcohol consumption.

The rise of chronic disease, however, necessitates a major adaptation to a healthcare system designed to deal with a previous pattern of disease. 

Preventative health measures designed to reduce the incidence or severity of chronic disease are not additional to the health strategy, but rather must be an integral part of it. 

Dealing with different types of health needs will require adaptation of all parts of the health system, including its bureaucracy.