Budget drives practical health reforms

The 2014 Budget brings a raft of health reforms that will deliver practical outcomes for the health of Australians said the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) today.

In the context of one of toughest budgets in recent times the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund represents a step-change in advancing Australia’s medical research capability, while streamlining health agencies will remove duplication and waste which will ultimately improve the performance of the health sector.

“The Medical Research Future Fund is a bold initiative that will deliver world class research into key National Health Priorities,” said AFGC CEO Mr Gary Dawson.

“The decision to incorporate the National Preventive Health Agency into the Department of Health and cease the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health will reduce complexity and overlapping jurisdictions.”

“This represents a step away from prescriptive policy intervention with a renewed emphasis on greater collaboration between government, industry and other stakeholders.”

“Food manufacturers have for sometime engaged with retailers, stakeholders, and State and Federal Government to address lifestyle-related non-communicable diseases,” said Mr Dawson.

Mr Dawson also welcomed the $100 million Sporting Schools Initiative which will provide targeted support for grass root sport-based physical activity.

“Physical inactivity is a massive public health issue, gaining increasing recognition as an area needing urgent action,” Mr Dawson said.

“The AFGC has long advocated for a broader consideration of energy balance – the relationship between energy consumed and energy expended through physical activity – in the development of health policy, particularly in relation to obesity and the rise of non-communicable disease.”

“Energy balance is a core principle of the industry’s Healthier Australia Commitment which seeks to improve public health through practical initiatives including reformulation of foods to reduce salt, fat and energy content; promotion of greater physical activity in the workplace and advice to parents and families on healthy diets and family activities,” said Mr Dawson.



More information: James Mathews – 0407 416 002.