Disease prevention

Australia has agreed to a Non-Communicable Disease (‘NCD’) mortality reduction rate goal of one third from 2016 – 2030. To achieve this will require saving one million years of life from cardiovascular disease, preventable cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease.

We are getting further off-track to achieve this goal and it is difficult to promote and gather public support for progress when government budgets are strained and global recession is on the horizon.  

There is a range of research, such as Assessing Cost Effectiveness in Prevention, which shows how to prevent NCD burden while saving costs. In that publication, the ‘dominant interventions’ could cost $4.6 billion though avert $11 billion in Australian healthcare costs.

Australia, Non-Communicable Diseases, GBD Results Tool 

Example of NCD reduction through pay-for-success

An Australian example is the Resolve program to reduce mental health issues. The program works with people at-risk of hospitalisation due to mental health. In NSW more than half of the mental health budget is spent on mental health admissions. Inpatient mental health treatment is expensive, yet many hospital admissions can be avoided if effective community support is in place. Given that there are over 28,000 hospital admissions for mental health each year throughout Australia, this approach needs to be promoted so that these programs can be scaled up.


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