Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) has contributed its recommendations to the Department of Health on the development of the National Preventive Health Strategy, 10-year plan. CMA supports the Government in adopting a strategy that recognises that health is more than just the absence of disease, but a holistic state of wellbeing. We underline the importance of an agile health system, one that integrates a range of cost-effective, accessible, evidence-based, preventative health measures and that focuses on equity for all Australians.
Prevention is better than cure
A health system focused on prevention, equity, and balance must be at the forefront of any long-term strategy. The initiative comes as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) released data on the Australian burden of disease, showing chronic diseases dominate in terms of healthy lives lost and that Australians are suffering more burden from living with illness than ever before.
“The increasing burden of complex, chronic conditions is unsustainable, and an integrated strategy would empower all Australians to maintain and be supported to have good health. That is why we are calling for greater investment into embedding prevention into the health system, up from the current less than 2% health spend; said Carl Gibson, CEO of Complementary Medicines Australia.
"Our health system focuses on the treatment of illness and disease, and the burden of chronic disease continues to rise imposing significant costs on the healthcare system. Chronic diseases are the leading cause of illness, disability and death in Australia and they share common, preventable risk factors," explains Carl Gibson.
Prevention should be based on the best available evidence and build on what has been shown to work. Prevention requires a collective and cohesive effort to be effective and to promote environments that support individuals to lead healthy lives.
Complementary medicines are an important, culturally acceptable part of healthcare around the world. Increasingly, people are embracing many forms of health and healing, led by skilled healthcare practitioners.
Carl Gibson says: "Empowering individuals to make the best possible decisions for their health and that of their communities is crucial. Well-targeted programs to build health literacy is vital to help people understand the need for healthier life choices and initiatives; backed by increasing the evidence base on targeted, cost-effective complementary medicine and practitioner approaches as part of routine healthcare.”
"CMA is pleased to respond to the National Preventive Health Strategy. A strategy with clear and measurable proposals are needed to help accelerate the health and wellbeing of Australians and create a sustainable, resilient, and efficient approach for the future,” ends Carl Gibson.