Sunday, April 20, 2008

Australia 2020 Summit

Like many of you I have been paying some attention to the reports of the 2020 summit over the weekend. I have a strong interest in education as well as what the participants come up to for the long term vision of health.

There seems to be an understanding of the social determinants of health and I have heard reference to many factors that are fundamental to good health including the need for
"good housing, nutritious food, a safe and clean environment and modern health services" .

The background paper is available on the Australia 2020 website. (The pdf is 314kb.)

There are plenty of places on the web where you can find out what has been discussed:
ABC reports:
The 2020 summit's health group outlines its top-seven big ideas, including a health version of Facebook and a ratings system for food. The stream's co-chair, Queensland Institute of Medical Research director Professor Michael Good, tells Prime Minister Kevin Rudd they are also proposing a national preventative health strategy funded by taxes on junk food, cigarettes and alcohol. But one delegate believes the group has neglected the need to close the Indigenous life expectancy gap.

There are also web-casts. I watched the plenary of Kevin Rudd speaking to the group. He held my interest and commented on issues that we have been arguing for. He said:

The challenge of public health policy is to deal with the immediate and the long term at the same time. What happens in the ED tonight, in acute hospital beds tomorrow, the clogging up of the system by people who need to be in aged care beds. This all needs to be fixed.

It certainly sounds promising.

CHF prepared a submission for the 2020 summit. It is available on their website.
Our overall vision is one where consumers are partners in their own health care and are included in all discussions and debates around health policy and programs and in all committees involved in the implementation and monitoring of projects and programs. This partnership is premised on availability of and access to well-communicated information that enables consumers to make informed decisions and to navigate the health system to get the best health outcomes.

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