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2024/25 Federal Budget Response - 17 May 2024

AHPA commends the Government on many of the initiatives funded in the federal budget which will positively affect health and wellbeing in Australia. However, along with other health organisations, AHPA expresses disappointment at the absence of health promotion, illness prevention, and equity commitments.

Investing in health promotion is a smart strategy. It keeps people out of hospital, reduces the burden on overstretched health services and allows people to live healthier, more productive lives. Health promotion and illness prevention save lives and money and deliver the best public return on investment in health. Every dollar invested in health promotion and prevention goes on to save $14[1].

AHPA calls on the Australian Government to get serious about promoting health and to clearly commit at least 5% of the health budget to Health Promotion and Illness Prevention, in line with the National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2023.

As outlined in AHPA’s Pre-Budget Submission, our key recommendations relate to resourcing to support the:

  • Implementation, monitoring and evaluation of, the National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030
  • Progress of an Australian Centre for Disease Control with a strong focus on health promotion
  • Enhancing the Australian Health Promotion and Prevention Workforce
  • Action on the forces that shape health.

The budget lacked clear support for these measures.

AHPA calls for a greater focus on the government’s stated aspirations for a wellbeing economy by considering a wellbeing lens on future budget allocations. A wellbeing economy is prosperous, creates health and well-being and protects the planet's resources for future generations[2]. AHPA supports relevant public health and social policy recommendations of key organisations of which the Association is a member, such as the Climate and Health Alliance and the Australian Council of Social Services. This includes sufficient and long-term funding for effective implementation and evaluation of Australia’s first National Health and Climate Strategy, housing security, a fairer tax system and social safety net improvements.

Considering the recent and disappointing Referendum outcome, it is critical that the Government ensures sustainable funding to support the self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including direct funding of the community-controlled sector to allow for initiatives to meet the community's needs.

As the peak body for health promotion in Australia, we continue to strive for a healthier, equitable Australia.

- ENDS -

Download the statement here.

[1] Masters R, Anwar E, Collins B, Cookson R, Capewell S. Return on investment of public health interventions: a systematic review. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2017.71(8):827-34.

[2] Williams, C., Smith, J.A., Valentine, N., Baum, F., Friel, S., Williams, J. and Schmitt, D. (2023), The well-being economy and health in all policies: Fostering action for change. Health Promot J Austral, 34: 623-625.

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