The Andrews Labor Government today released its vision to create a healthier Victoria.
The Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2015-2019 outlines the Government’s key priorities over the next four years to improve the health and wellbeing of all Victorians, particularly the most disadvantaged.
The Plan identifies six key areas for action:
- Healthier eating and active living;
- Tobacco free living;
- Reducing harmful alcohol and drug use;
- Improving mental health;
- Preventing violence and injury; and,
- Improving sexual health and reproductive health.
The Plan also identifies the importance of addressing climate change because of its impacts on health and wellbeing, including through heatwave, fire and long-term challenges to food security.
Also, the Plan highlights the needs to reduce the prevalence of family violence which is a leading preventable contributor to ill health, disability and premature death in young women aged 15-44.
Despite Victoria having one of the highest life expectancies in the world, the State faces a number of challenges including the growing burden of preventable chronic disease. Half of all Victorian adults report having at least one chronic disease, and one in five has two or more chronic diseases.
As many chronic diseases and injuries are preventable, the Plan focuses on encouraging healthy living from the early years and throughout life.
The Plan will guide the work of state and local governments, health services and providers, businesses and employers, and the wider community.
Further work will now be undertaken by the Government and key partners to identify and develop priority health promotion initiatives in line with the Plan.
Initiatives could range from targeted smoking cessation programs to improving workplace health, encouraging healthy eating and physical activity, promoting healthy relationships, and boosting screening programs.
Under the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, a statewide public health and wellbeing plan is required every four years. The Plan was developed in consultation with over 200 people from leading health organisations, local governments and healthcare service providers.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“We know more work needs to be done to improve the health and wellbeing of all Victorians, and this Plan is a road map to achieving this.”
“By working together we can break the cycle of poor health and social disadvantage so all Victorians can enjoy the highest standard of health, no matter what their background, age or where they live.”
Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Health Mary-Anne Thomas
“We’ve developed this Plan in consultation with health experts, and I was really pleased to hear directly from so many people about what we need to do to improve the health and wellbeing of all Victorians.”
“This Plan has a really strong vision – for a Victoria free of the avoidable burden of disease and injury, and I believe we can achieve this if we all work together.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020