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Fund disease prevention properly and rupture the pills and hospital beds pipeline: PHAA CEO

Public Health Association of Australia 2 mins read

6 December 2023

Health officials talk a great game about preventive health, and while it’s necessary to keep the pills hospital beds pipelines open, we need to stop people getting sick in the first place, the head of the country’s peak body for public health says.

Reflecting on almost four decades of fighting for disease prevention and public health, Public Health Association of Australia CEO, Adj Prof Terry Slevin will tonight tell a Perth audience that urgent medical care funding always trumps long-term investments in prevention.

“Having worked in this sector for nearly 40 years, I’ve seen public health consistently only get the crumbs from the table,” he says.

“It’s clear that the problem with investment in health in Australia is structural.

“There is simply no clear mechanism at a national level to assess and recommend the best investments in preventing disease, and then ensuring they are properly funded. 

“The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the Medical Benefits Scheme are long standing clear ‘pipelines’ of funding with control systems of independent expert committees who assess the evidence and make recommendations to government.

“We are proposing a Preventive Health Funding scheme at a national level that has the same structure to pharmaceuticals and medical services.  It should be rigorous, ongoing, consistent, and baked into the system.

“Western Australia has committed to reaching 5% of health expenditure into public health by 2029, and setting aside the emergency spending on the pandemic, I am keen to see public annual reporting against that goal, so that its progress can be tracked.”


Adj Prof Slevin will speak at the PHAA WA Branch’s AGM at the State Library in Perth tonight, 5:30pm-7:30pm AWST. He is available for interviews.


For further information/comment:

Paris Lord (he/him), PHAA Communications & Media Manager, 0478 587 917, 

Contact details:

For further information/comment:

Paris Lord (he/him), PHAA Communications & Media Manager, 0478 587 917, 


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