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Policy report

Australian COVID-19 policy responses: good for health equity or a missed opportunity?

COVID-19 Health inequity Policy analysis Public health Social inequality Australia

This report examines the health equity implications of the 156 policy measures that were introduced by the Australian federal and state/territory governments in response to the pandemic during the period 12 March to 16 June 2020.

People's health and wellbeing is affected by the everyday conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work and age. The health promoting qualities of these conditions are not equally distributed, which leads to health inequities.

The report notes that the wide-ranging and rapid policy responses to COVID-19 risks and impacts at federal and state/territory levels are to be commended, showing that if there is political will action can happen. However, long-term investment is vital across the conditions of daily living. Action on the structural drivers of health inequity is essential.

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