Government cuts to Health Flexible Funds total $793 million, Chronic Disease Prevention is cut

It was revealed in the latest round of Senate Estimates that a total of over $793M is to be cut from the Health Flexible Funds over the next four financial years. …….

Chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and heart failure, cancer, chronic kidney disease, lung disease and type-2 diabetes, are responsible for 90 per cent of all deaths and 85 per cent of total disease in Australia. These diseases are largely driven by four modifiable risk factors; physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, tobacco use and alcohol consumption. Cutting funding to initiatives under the Chronic Disease Prevention and Service Improvement Fund makes no sense from a policy nor an economic perspective – estimated direct health-care costs for chronic disease are upwards of $27 billion and for obesity $58.2 billion per annum.

Among the other 13 Flexible Funds apparently to be affected are those supporting the provision of essential services in rural, regional and remote Australia; working to Close the Gap in health outcomes for Indigenous Australians; managing vital responses to communicable diseases; and delivering substance use treatment services around the country.

Full text, external link National Obesity Prevention Network first victim in cuts to Health Flexible Funds – Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association.

From an earlier press release:

“Public Health Association of Australia deputy chief executive Melanie Walker said it was incongruous that the Government could find $20 million in the budget for an ice awareness campaign yet treatment services to help people dealing with addiction faced an uncertain future.”

More detail, external link Public Health Association. A coalition of 17 calling on the Australian government…..