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Australian health ministers announce a major review of health promotion



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Australian Health Ministers' Conference

Adelaide, 26 March 1991

MEDIA RELEASE 3

AUSTRALIAN HEALTH MINISTERS ANNOUNCE A MAJOR REVIEW OF HEALTH PROMOTION

Australian Health Ministers have agreed to take part in a major review of health promotion activity.

Announcing the move, the Federal Minister for Community Services and Health, Brian Howe, said the review is necessary to capitalise on the achievements of the National Better Health Program (NBHP) due to end in June 1992.

Major achievements of the program include establishing the National Injury Surveillance Unit which tracks child injuries, and developing the Australian Social Health Atlas which provides a comprehensive coverage of patterns of morbidity and mortality related to demographoic and

socio-economic characteristics.

The Ministers have agreed the review will concentrate on the current strengths and weaknesses of health promotion in Australia, including non-government and private funded arrangements.

They said future health promotion activity should see much closer cooperation between public, private and non-government sectors in a stronger, more focused effort.

The review will look at the following issues:

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focussing health services towards disease prevention;

encouraging better health consciousness in the public and private sectors, ie. diet, exercise; .

examining the health consequences of economic developments and environmental degradation; and

redressing health inequalities.

Mr Howe paid tribute to the National Better Health Program.

"It is an important milestone in the development of effective health promotion in Australia," he said.

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"The Commonwealth, States and Territories have been able to pilot and evaluate local and national strategies which have built a solid foundation for more effective health promotion in the future."

The ministers said the review's findings will influence future discussions between the Commonwealth and States/Territories on joint health promotion activity.

The Commonwealth and States/Territories have cooperated in the National Better Health Program since 1989/90, and by the time it expires, $39 million will have been spent on its activities.

For more information: Marilyn Chalkley Tony Nagy AHMC Secretariat (08) 210 6782