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Thursday, 5 May 2016
Page: 4507

Ms HALL (ShortlandOpposition Whip) (11:45): by leave—I rise to support the report that has just been tabled by the Standing Committee on Health, Inquiry into chronic disease prevention and management in primary health care,and to emphasise the importance of dealing with the issue of chronic disease. It is vital that government puts in place a proper strategy to deal with chronic disease, and it starts with prevention. I look at the inquiries that the committee has dealt with over the time that I have been involved with it. I was lucky to be on the first health committee in this parliament where we released The blame game: report on the inquiry into health funding. I would like to emphasise that practically every inquiry we have had has linked into chronic disease of some type. It shows that you can look at one disease, one illness and one category of diseases, but we need to look in a more holistic way and understand that all of these diseases contribute to and make up chronic disease—for example, things like dementia. One of the key inquiries we did that relates to chronic disease was on obesity. So many of the chronic diseases hang off obesity. You look at heart disease, cancer or asthma—everything that we do, every chronic disease, links into lifestyle. I think it is very important that we take note of this report and that we look at it. I would say that there is more work to be done in the next parliament.

I have to put on record my thanks to the committee and the committees over the years that I have worked with in health as well as a special thanks to Steve Irons, the member for Swan. It has been wonderful working with him. I know that he has a total commitment to health. Sometimes we look at things a bit differently but, overwhelmingly, we have the goal of improving health, improving the availability of health care for people in Australia and to giving people the opportunity to lead a healthy lifestyle. Thank you.