The Economics of Prevention

The Economics of Prevention

In June 2012, the Australian Centre for Health Research, in cooperation with Deakin University, organised a health policy forum that “sought to go past the blame game between Commonwealth and State governments” and to discuss what incentives and/or systems for preventive health can fairly and efficiently deliver better health at lower cost.

We wanted to try and identify what was in the way of addressing ill health by promoting good health.

In all, nine speakers addressed the following topics:

  • The economics of prevention – health setting and key messages from the landmark ACE-Prevention Study
  • The economics of obesity prevention
  • Issues for governments – the policy imperative
  • A view from the private health sector – the market imperative
  • The view from the health insurance industry – the insurance imperative
  • The view from the public health system – the care imperative
  • The view from academia – the social justice imperative

Each of those presentations set out, from different perspectives, to answer the question posed by our Centre’s Executive Director, Neil Batt, ‘what is in the way of preventing ill health?’

Having set out existing and potential roadblocks, a follow up session was called for. Accordingly, and again in conjunction with Deakin University, a Forum entitled ‘The Economics of Health Prevention: getting down to business’ was then organised. Its purpose was to build on the excellent foundation created the previous year and, potentially, to set out the road ahead in this difficult issue.

On this occasion, there were eight speakers, again from a broad cross section of both the private and public sectors.

This publication contains the text and a selection of the visual illustrations presented at the Forum. I commend it to you.