This is the audio recording from the ‘COVID-19 multisectoral policy responses and the implications for health equity’ webinar, the first webinar in the Webinar Series: Governing Disruptions for Health Equity organised by the Menzies Centre for Health Governance. This webinar took place on Tuesday 28 July 2020. Note: the introduction of this audio has been slightly modified for a smoother listening experience and the Q&A session has been removed for privacy reasons. Please do not reproduce without permission.
In this webinar, Professor Sharon Friel, and Dr Belinda Townsed are joined by Dr Sandro Demaio (VicHealth) and Professor Emily Lancsar (Research School of Population Health, ANU). The speakers reflect on the Menzies Centre report ‘Australian COVID-19 policy responses: Good for health equity or a missed opportunity?’ published on 27 August 2020, which examines the Australian Federal and State/Territory policy responses to COVID 19 and their implications for health equity.
The report examines the 156 policy measures that were introduced by the Federal and State/Territory level governments, and which touch on eight key social determinants of health equity: employment, income, cost of living, education, housing, infrastructure, community services, and health care. The panel discussed some of the positive possibilities for health equity as a consequence of these policies and reflected on opportunities for multisectoral public policy that could keep Australian society healthy, reduce social and health inequities, and reduce the financial burden to the health and social systems that is associated with health inequities.
The webinar was chaired by Dr Belinda Townsend, Deputy Director, Menzies Centre for Health Governance at RegNet, ANU.
About the speakers
Professor Sharon Friel is Professor of Health Equity and Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Governance in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at the Australian National University. Sharon was Director of RegNet from 2014-2019. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia and co-Director of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity. Her book, Climate Change and the People’s Health was published by OUP in Jan 2019.
Dr Sandro Demaio is a medical doctor and globally-renowned public health expert and advocate. Sandro previously worked for the World Health Organization and was CEO of the EAT Foundation. He also co-founded the NCDFREE global social movement and established a not-for-profit foundation to improve the health and nutrition of Australian kids. Sandro has published many scientific journal articles and is author of the Doctor’s Diet cookbook. He also co-hosts the ABC television and Netflix show Ask the Doctor.
Professor Emily Lancsar is Head of the Department of Health Services Research and Policy and Associate Dean (Policy and Practice) in the College of Health and Medicine at the ANU. She is an economist with particular interests in understanding and modelling choice, preferences and behaviour of key decision makers in the health sector, priority setting in the health system, economic evaluation and policy analysis.Emily holds a number of current and past ARC, NHMRC, MRC, ESRC, NIHR and EU funded grants and fellowships. She is a member of a number of government advisory committees including the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC), the Economic Sub-Committee of MSAC and the Economic Sub-Committee of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
Dr Belinda Townsend is a Research Fellow in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) and is Deputy Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Governance at RegNet, at ANU. Belinda’s work is focused on the political economy of health and health governance. Her recent work examines agenda-setting in areas outside the “health policy” domain, such as in trade and investment, employment, and social and welfare policy.
Other webinars in this series:
Webinar 2: Talking and acting differently about inequality
How we talk about poverty and inequality also affects the types of actions taken to redress it. In this webinar Anne Hampshire, head of research and advocacy at The Smith Family and Professor Sharon Bessel, Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, where she is Director of Gender Equity and Diversity and heads the Poverty and Inequality Research Centre and the Children’s Policy Centre, share insights from their research on multidimensional poverty.