Embargoed until 12:05am AEDT 1 Jan 2024
Thunderstruck by the interim ACDC: the most significant public health infrastructure in decades
The interim Australian Centre for Disease Control (ACDC), which begins operations this month, is one of the biggest advances in Australia’s public health infrastructure in decades and holds the potential to improve millions of lives, Australia’s peak body for public health said.
The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) said that potential can be realised if the new Centre, which has the support of numerous health and medical organisations and professional bodies, is properly funded and staffed.
“As we start 2024 we enthusiastically welcome the arrival of the interim ACDC and are keen to see the details this year on how it will work in practice with the states and territories,” PHAA CEO, Adj Prof Terry Slevin said.
The Legislation to establish the ACDC needs to be passed through Parliament in 2024.
“We’re particularly interested in seeing that the Centre’s core structure matches what was in Labor’s 2022 election commitment (screenshots in attached PDF): that it leads the federal response to future infectious disease outbreaks and works to prevent non-communicable (chronic) as well as communicable (infectious) diseases,” Prof Slevin said.
“Indeed as the ALP’s election promise also stated, All Australians will benefit from improved pandemic preparedness and response, as well as a renewed focus on preventing chronic disease.
“As the ABS’ National Health Survey 2022 released last month has shown, one in two Australians live with at least one chronic illness, and that’s a crisis we cannot ignore.
“But the good news is that we already know what we need to do to tackle these challenges. We’ve got the excellent National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030, and if we sew that into the fabric of the new, properly funded ACDC, we can ensure that the health and wellbeing of millions of people is improved.
“Spending money on prevention is a far better use of taxpayers’ money than costly treatments and hospitalisation, especially during this cost-of-living crisis.
“We’re keen to work with the Government to help it seize this moment, and channel the goodwill carried by the health and medical sectors.
“If successfully established, the ACDC will benefit the health of people in Australia for generations to come, by identifying, preventing, and managing threats to the health of the nation.”
Audio and video grabs of Adj Prof Slevin, and a transcript, are available for download here.
For further information/comment:
Jasmine Lykissas, PHAA Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org,
02 6171 1304 (This will divert to a mobile).
Media line - 02 6171 1304 (will divert to a mobile)