Save a Million

Australia:

NCD Prevention

While the pre-COVID prevention funding system had been extremely successful in the past 20 years in reducing communicative disease deaths globally, it has not been able to reduce non-communicative disease (NCD) and injury mortality.

There are many effective programs which can save lives and costs from these burdens – such as programs preventing pre-diabetic progression to diabetes, stroke, avoidable blindness, mental disorders and neonatal diseases.

For examples of proven public policy interventions see research such as Assessing Cost Effectiveness in Prevention, which shows how to prevent NCD burden while saving costs. In that publication, the dominant interventions would save a net $6.4 billion in responsive healthcare costs.

An example of a savings program is Resolve.

Resolve is a recovery-orientated community support program which combines a residential service for periodic crisis care integrated psychosocial, medical and mental health support; and a help line for after-hours support from peers.

The program is delivered by Flourish Australia, a highly experienced mental health service provider.

The program is expected to generate significant savings for the NSW Government through a reduction in participants’ utilisation of health and other services, in particular by reducing the number of days spent in hospital. These savings, when achieved, will be reinvested to enable the continued delivery of the Resolve program.

Over the past decade regulations, systems and markets have been developed for reinvestment in effective programs to scale them to their optimal size. There are plenty of technical tools, examples and experts available, such as the Government Outcomes (GO) Lab, Urban Institute – Pay For Success, Social Finance, Third Sector Capital and Nonprofit Finance Fund – Invest in Results.

This work began when the Global Financial Crisis threatened traditional grant funding. With traditional funding affected by much larger COVID-caused recession and debt levels, now is the time when program providers need to develop credible savings reinvestment proposals and governments need to pursue them.  

Governments in the UK have entered into over a hundred reinvestment agreements, the most of any country. An example is the Ways to Wellness program.

Below are some key terms and links to relevant knowledge hubs about them.