This election has prompted the Australian Health Promotion Association to develop a brand new ‘infographic’ that clearly demonstrates how our tiny health promotion workforce (existing on 0.4% of health funding) is saving Australia billions of dollars and thousands of lives every year.
Health promotion is about creating conditions that reduce smoking rates and increase physical activity (for example), not just for specific groups of people, but across the whole population. By helping those most in need and reducing disadvantage, health promotion can free half a million Australians from chronic disease.
Our main observation from this week’s health debate at the National Press Club is that there was no priority given to health promotion, when there is a very clear necessity for our next federal government to do so (on both social and economic grounds).
Health Promotion is our true ‘front-line’ in health services. It works before people get sick and need medical care. For every dollar invested primary prevention, our health system saves over five dollars. So if nothing else, investing in health promotion is sound economic policy.
Australia needs both parties to clearly state their commitment to greater investment in health promotion.
• If any Croakey readers or contributors would like a copy of this infographic, please get in touch. The AHPA is happy to share it