A report that found billions of dollars could be saved annually if recommendations from a tripartisan Senate Inquiry were implemented has failed to spark politicians into action on the social determinants of health.
Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the Senate Community Affairs Committee tabling its report following an Inquiry into Australia’s efforts to address health inequity and the social determinants of health. There has been no official response to the report from either major party.
'We remain grateful for the considered and forward-thinking report that the Senate Committee – representing Coalition, Labor and Greens Senators – tabled 12 months ago, but our frustration at the lack of action is mounting,' Catholic Health Australia CEO Martin Laverty said in a statement yesterday.
'Reports seem to emerge every couple of weeks pointing to unacceptable variances in people’s health based on their socioeconomic status or their ethnicity or where they live or their education level. These reports – like last year’s Senate report – are not prompting action from federal politicians.'
Mr Laverty said Catholic Health Australia has been advocating for action on the social determinants of health for more than five years. A number of policy papers, a pair of reports in conjunction with the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) and the publication of a book bringing together Australia’s leading thinkers on health inequity have been part of CHA’s efforts.
'One of the NATSEM reports found that $2.3 billion in savings could be found annually through avoidable hospital admissions if Australian Governments were to implement the findings of the World Health Organisation’s Closing the Gap in a Generation report. Those are the same recommendations that the Senate Committee said the Parliament should endorse.'
RELEASES IN FULL
Kildare Ministries Launch (Kildare Ministries)
CHA NATSEM second Report on Health Cost of Inaction (NATSEM Report)