ACHR supports Australia’s first national health report card

ACHR supports Australia’s first national health report card

The Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC) at Victoria University released an Australian-first national health report card on preventable chronic diseases, conditions and risk factors. There is some good news but much to do if we are to prevent poor and inequitable health outcomes.

Australia’s-Health-Tracker (PDF) is supported by 50 health and welfare organisations, including the Australian Centre for Health Research, shows increased rates of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

The results are also worrying for young adults with a quarter overweight and a staggering 90 percent not doing enough physical activity,

Director of the Australian Health Policy Collaboration at Victoria University, Rosemary Calder, said health leaders nationally hold grave concerns about the lack of prevention of chronic disease.

“We simply cannot accept that we are now one of the world’s fattest nations, with very high rates of heart disease and diabetes. Nor should we accept such high levels of risk among Australia’s children, knowing that this will lead to chronic yet preventable illness in their futures.”

Australia’s Heath Tracker – the first assessment of its kind – was launched in an effort to warn Australians, governments and industries that immediate and significant action is needed to fight diseases crippling the health system

Rebecca Bartel, Executive Director of ACHR, said: “Australia is failing to prevent our biggest health killers – cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Australians deserve a healthier future. We can and must do better.”

“Investing in strategies to prevent chronic disease is not only good health policy, it is also good economic policy. Chronic diseases are easier and cheaper to prevent than to treat, and impact on our productivity. A broad societal approach is required.”

Key findings included: 

  • 63.4 per cent of the non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and 71.4 per cent of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is overweight or obese.
  • 44.5 per cent of the adult population is not doing enough physical activity.
  • Almost a quarter of the population has high blood pressure.
  • More than a third of total energy intake is from junk food in adult diets.
  • Almost a fifth of adults drink at ‘risky levels” and almost half consume too much sugar.

Rosemary Calder, AHPC Director, added:  “We hope that Australia’s Health Tracker will be a tool for action and accountability to protect the most important asset in our country – our health.”

More than 80 organisations including the National Stroke Foundation, the National Heart Foundation, Cancer Council Australia and the Public Health Association of Australia will meet at a national forum in Melbourne today to discuss strategies to combat preventable chronic diseases and drive national agenda for change.

Read the Australia’s Health Tracker report (PDF) : australias-health-tracker

Download the AHPC_report_card_FINAL_media_release and australias-health-tracker-adult

To visit the AHPC website click below: