Our hearts and minds — what would it take to become the healthiest country in the world?

Bret Hart
Med J Aust 2008; 188 (6): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2008.tb01664.x
Published online: 17 March 2008

To the Editor: It is a worthy aspiration for Australia to become the world’s healthiest country, but it will take revolutionary leadership to prevent and manage the effects of obesity that will reverse the previous gains in reducing heart disease.1 In addition, we have to overcome the adverse impact on the health of young people caused by fundamental changes in Australia, highlighted by Eckersley.2 He also identifies medical practitioners as a potential obstacle in that we are overfocused, with government approval, “on an individual, biomedical, disease-centred approach to health at the expense of a more social, preventative model”. He also calls for an increase from the current investment in prevention and public health programs, 1% of health expenditure — but that will only occur if his more radical suggestion is adopted: that governments change their focus from wealth to health creation.

  • Bret Hart

  • Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Sydney, NSW.



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