Longer, more productive lives need support to be healthy too

Released on 5th March 2015

cohealth says the Intergenerational Report is an opportunity to refocus on preventative and primary health care which will reduce health costs and foster a more productive workforce.

cohealth Chief Executive, Lyn Morgain, said the current debate overlooks the success of reducing health care expenditure by redirecting it towards primary health and community-based prevention strategies.

“There is overwhelming international and local evidence that money spent in primary and preventive health is money well spent.

“The lessons of tobacco where every $1 invested in tobacco prevention saves up to $20 in future health care costs must be applied to issues like preventing family violence which we know costs the Australian Government $13.6 billion each year.

“We advocate for early interventions, supporting people to be at the centre of their own care, and addressing factors that lead to inequality and poor health.”

“Healthy, informed and connected communities foster healthy and productive people,” Ms Morgain said. “Waiting at the bottom of a cliff with an expensive ambulance does not.”

“cohealth does not argue against spending in the hospital sector, but that the weighting has become disproportionate to our needs, the need to lead more productive and healthy lives – which the Intergenerational Report underscores.

“We support Health Minister Susan Ley’s recent comments that the impact of non-communicable diseases like diabetes requires a new way of funding health services.

“The UK has demonstrated how giving money to people with complex, chronic diseases leads to improvements in health and a reduction of burden on the health system. In fact, the more complex the person’s health issues were, the better the decisions people made – whether it be improved diet, increased social connectedness and activity.

“Closer to home, cohealth is one of many community-based health care organisations demonstrating the benefit of promoting good health with some of Melbourne’s most poor and vulnerable communities.”

“Steering people with early signs of diabetes towards improved health practices makes sense, as does the state-funded Healthy Together program which has had hundreds of people in Melbourne’s north-west putting up their hand to help influence healthy behaviours of others in their community – promoting exercise and better diet. But this program’s funding is up in June.”

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