Overview: The National Preventative Health Strategy

The National Preventative Health Strategy provides a blueprint for tackling the burden of chronic disease currently caused by obesity, tobacco, and excessive consumption of alcohol. The Strategy’s recommendations are directed at primary prevention and will address all relevant arms of policy and all available points of leverage, in both the health and non-health sectors.

The Preventative Health Taskforce was established in April 2008 to develop the Strategy. The Taskforce received 397 submissions in response to its October 2008 discussion paper, Australia: the healthiest country by 2020 and held 40 consultations with almost 1,000 stakeholders in capital cities and select regional centres between October 2008 and February 2009. The views of all consulted parties and all submissions were considered in the development of the National Preventative Health Strategy.

The Strategy identifies seven strategic directions to ensure a comprehensive approach:

  1. Shared responsibility – developing strategic partnerships – at all levels of government, industry, business, unions, the non-government sector, research institutions and communities;
  2. Act early and throughout life – working with individuals, families and communities;
  3. Engage communities – act and engage with people where they live, work and play; at home, in schools, workplaces and the community. Inform, enable and support people to make healthy choices;
  4. Influence markets and develop coherent policies – for example, through taxation, responsive regulation, and through coherent and connected policies;
  5. Reduce inequity through targeting disadvantage – especially low socioeconomic status (SES) population groups;
  6. Indigenous Australians – contribute to ‘Close the Gap’; and
  7. Refocus primary healthcare towards prevention.

Each of these strategic directions requires strong infrastructure to support action, coordinated and driven via the proposed National Preventive Health Agency working with a range of national, state and local partners. The directions are reflected in each of the strategies for obesity, tobacco and alcohol, complemented by the support of national preventative health infrastructure.

The Strategy sets a number of ambitious targets:

These targets have been aligned with similar targets set by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) for the National Partnership on Preventive Health and the National Health Care Agreement.

Further information

You can find more information from the following fact sheet which has been prepared about the Strategy:

Read the documents

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Page last updated 01 September, 2009