Health must be central in all govt policy: AMA

In a speech to a Catholic Health Australia event in Sydney today, AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said Australian health spending was growing faster than the economy but politicians had been too slow to tackle to the fundamental causes of unhealthiness.

“We need to rethink our approach to health and redesign our policies and systems to tackle the root causes of ill health. Tackling the social determinants of health is a public policy imperative,” Dr Hambleton said.

He said all Australian governments must “make health equity and health impact explicit goals of all public policy in every portfolio” and “the theme of better population health must be embedded in policies within education, housing, employment, transport and the environment”.

“Unless the policy responses in these and other areas are aligned, they have the potential to widen disparities in health,” he said.

The change in approach