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A new report released today by RegNet’s Menzies Centre for Health Governance, examines the health equity implications of the 156 policy measures that were introduced by the Australian Federal and State/Territory governments in response to the pandemic.
“Our health and wellbeing is affected by the everyday conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work and age. The health promoting qualities of these conditions are not equally distributed, which leads to health inequities.
“To address health inequities requires action across multiple policy domains”, says Professor Sharon Friel, lead author of the report.
The report titled ‘Australian COVID-19 policy responses: Good for health equity or a missed opportunity?’, notes that the wide-ranging and rapid policy responses to COVID-19 risks and impacts at Federal and State/Territory levels are impressive and to be commended, showing that if there is political will, action can happen.
Austerity cannot be the policy response going forward the authors stress. Long-term investment is vital across the conditions of daily living. Action on the structural drivers of health inequity is essential. Without action on climate change, health inequities will be exacerbated.
‘Bouncing back better’ from COVID-19 could see a healthier, more equitable and sustainable Australia if political leaders choose to use this unfortunate event to drive positive societal change. Governing going forward requires a new social compact, supported by a national whole of government health equity strategy.
The ‘Australian COVID-19 policy responses: Good for health equity or a missed opportunity?’ report was authored by Menzies Centre for Health Governance experts, namely Professor Sharon Friel, Sharni Goldman, Belinda Townsend, Ashley Schram.
What to know more about the consequence of these policies and the opportunities for multisectoral public policy that could keep Australian society healthy? Register for the Menzies Centre for Health Governance webinar series ‘Governing Disruptions for Health Equity’
Event 1 – COVID-19 multisectoral policy responses and the implications for health equity
Date: Thursday 27 August | Time: 12.30-1.30pm
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