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COVID19, Government Federal

Urgent call for Australian Centre for Disease Control to reconcile COVID-19 health advice

Public Health Association of Australia 2 mins read

21 February 2024

Public health experts are calling for the Federal Government to urgently implement and properly resource the proposed Australian Centre for Disease Control (ACDC) to ensure COVID-19 advice is consistent across Australia.

The call from the Public Health Association of Australia comes as public health experts await further details of the ACDC promised by the Albanese Government during the 2022 federal election. The ACDC was set up as a $90m interim body on 1 January 2024, but is yet to be formally established or receive ongoing funds.

Professor Simone Pettigrew, health communication expert from the George Institute for Global Health, says the current situation could be negatively impacting public health outcomes as COVID-19 continues to spread across the country.  

“The current COVID-19 messaging differs in complexity, priority and content between the states and territories,” Prof Pettigrew said. “That makes it harder for Australians to interpret health advice.

“Residents of some states may be receiving more or less effective guidance compared to others.

“A single, clear and consistent source of truth would undoubtedly improve public health outcomes.”

Adjunct Professor Terry Slevin, CEO, Public Health Association Australia, says that the current situation points to the pressing need for quick action to get the ACDC up and running and well resourced.

“We appreciate the excellent work of the states and territories to provide thorough and reliable guidance on COVID-19, and acknowledge the efforts of each health department,” he said.

“We learned during the peak of the pandemic that clear, consistent and accessible information was paramount.

“But the simple truth is that people around Australia are receiving varying advice on how to best protect themselves when it comes to COVID-19.

“Inconsistencies around emphasis, priority and language used underscore the urgent need for the full and proper establishment of the ACDC. This is exactly why this body was promised by the Australian Government.

“Australians deserve a consistent, credible, carefully researched and framed nationwide set of public health information.

“The time is now for the Government to enact its commitment, to fund the ACDC to the level necessary to fulfil its entire remit - including Chronic Disease Prevention - to ensure that all people in Australia have the best possible information at hand to protect their health.

“To continue our ACDC rock band references, we’ve only a few metres worth of funding for a Highway to Health. We can’t accept Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.”

 

For further information/comment:

Paris Lord (he/him), PHAA Communications & Media Manager, 0478 587 917, plord@phaa.net.au  

 

 

 

 


About us:

We’re Australia's peak body for public health and advocate for the health and wellbeing of everyone. We strive to help prevent, rather than cure, illness and disease.

Our campaigns and activities span numerous public health issues from environmental health, immunisation and pandemic control, through to tobacco, gambling, physical activity, junk food marketing, preventive mental health, health education and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Our 2,000+ individual members represent over 40 professional groups interested in the promotion of public health. We also have branches in every State and Territory.

Learn more at phaa.net.au

 


Contact details:

Paris Lord (he/him), PHAA Communications & Media Manager, 0478 587 917, plord@phaa.net.au  

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