What are Public health initiatives in Australia?

Summary

  • Besides the illustrated public healthcare system, the Australian government has set up various public health initiatives with an objective of bettering people’s health.
  • Numerous health initiatives are currently in progress in Australia.
  • While some of them are not successful, there are a few health initiatives which have garnered huge response and provided positive results.

Australia’s healthcare system is one of the most comprehensive ones across the world, offering a wide assortment of services. Right from general and preventive health, to the treatment of more complicated and serious conditions, the Australian government cares for every health-related issue.

Besides the illustrated public healthcare system, the Australian government has set up various public health initiatives to improve people’s health.

There are numerous health initiatives currently running in Australia that address a wide range of health issues, from public health research initiatives to mental health campaigns.

What is a health initiative?

A public health initiative can be explained as a programme or scheme that provides support for specific health issues prevailing in a community. They also include research initiatives aimed at informing and educating the people on a particular health issue.

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A few health initiatives running in Australia

At present, so many people are going through massive mental, emotional, physiological and financial turmoil that the government had to step up and swing into action to curb the rising health predicaments. Consequently, there are a plethora of health-related programs currently in progress in the country.

Catering to the issues pertaining to mental health

  • The Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission is a programme that helps more than a million Australians suffering from mental health problems access new approaches to deterrence, identification, medication and then healing.
  • KidsMatter is another initiative that assists in promoting mental health and early interference for all children via universal primary and early childhood programmes.

Special Health programmes for women

  • The National Women’s Health Strategy:2020-2030 is a recent one which aims to enhance the health and welfare of all women and girls in Australia.
  • The Maternity Services and Stillbirth Prevention is another Australian government programme that talks about efforts to enhance care and outcomes in the states.
  • The national perinatal Depression Initiative seeks to improve prevention and early detection of antenatal and postnatal depression. Also, it provides help to new mothers experiencing depression or even depressive thoughts.

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Initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

  • A programme called Close the Gap campaign has been started to close the health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-indigenous Australians within a generation.
  • The Youth Employment Programme is a plan for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to aid them into employment or higher studies after completion of high school.

Health initiatives for drugs, alcohol, and tobacco

  • The FASD Action Plan proposes to research and teach about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders resulting from drinking during pregnancy.
  • The Good Sports Programme provides funding for plans aimed at changing mindsets about alcohol through associations with sporting clubs.
  • Needle and syringe programmes (NSPs) aim to augment education, counselling and referral services and the accessibility of NSPs through pharmacies and other outlets.
  • Pregnant Pause initiative is a financed programme that urges people to go alcohol-free during pregnancy.

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Some successful initiatives in Australia

  • Neural tube defects: Research shows that in the last ten years, public health initiatives have helped a lot in reducing the occurrence of neural tube defects in Australia. Neural tube defects are serious birth defects, with high mortality and lifelong morbidity. The National Health and Medical Research Council urged the women to increase folate consumption periconceptionally which helped protect babies against neural tube defects.
  • Immunisation and disease elimination: In past two decades, the country has launched a number of national immunisation campaigns such as the National Measles Control Campaign of 1998 and the Meningococcal C campaign of 2003-2004 to reduce and safeguard Australians.
  • Lifetime health cover initiative: (LHC) is a government run programme that commenced in 2000. It was created to motivate people to get hospital insurance earlier in life. Also, the government enforced that the later one gets a policy, the higher premiums are.
  • Cervical cancer: The National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) supports the pap smear for women between age 18 and 69 or two years after one becomes sexually active. The test was introduced in 1991 and is known for identifying pre-cancerous cells. Interestingly, by 2002 it had reduced the incidence of the disease by half.

The importance of initiatives in Australia

While not all the government initiatives have profitable results, initiatives pertaining to just health are significant. These programmes help health professionals and the government in learning more about what exactly is needed to address the specific issues. Health programmes can:

  • Find treatments and vaccinations for diseases and illnesses, also featuring immunisation campaigns.
  • In order to enhance the health and welfare of all Australians.
  • Ease up the pressure on the public healthcare system by improving the health of Australians.
  • Teach and notify people about disease inhibition and promote better health and lifestyle choices.
  • Tackle issues in the public healthcare system which do not provide adequate support.

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