In this document, the Consumers Health Forum calls for the next Federal Government to take early action on three health priorities to set 21st century health goals for all Australians. Fundamental to the priorities is a commitment to closing the gap in health and disadvantage between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.
The three CHF Making Health Better Priorities are:
- Childhood overweight and obesity: Committing to a national strategy based on the Tipping the Scales report’s eight steps including tougher curbs on unhealthy food advertising, mandatory food stars rating, active transport and a 20 per cent health levy on sugary drinks.
- Primary care: Modernise Medicare by building on current health care homes and integrated care programs that support patient-centred services, particularly for children under five, those with chronic illness and older Australians, including reforms in payment systems to reward GPs more effectively, to encourage providers to work in teams and reduce dependence on hospitals.
- Dental reform: Extending the child dental benefits scheme to adults to roll out in stages beginning with those on low incomes and ultimately providing universal dental benefits.