Investing in prevention is essential to our nation's long-term productivity
The recently announced 2014–15 federal Budget will have both direct and indirect adverse effects on prevention, especially of chronic diseases, which are Australia's major causes of death and disability. A government concerned about future productivity and extending the working life of Australians should be investing more in preventing chronic disease, and not less. Chronic disease is a common cause of shortened working life, even when it doesn't kill.1
- 1. Schofield DJ, Shrestha RN, Passey ME, et al. Chronic disease and labour force participation among older Australians. Med J Aust 2008; 189: 447-450. <MJA full text>
- 2. Keeler EB. Effects of cost sharing on use of medical services and health. J Med Pract Manage 1992; 8: 317-321.
- 3. Kiil A, Houberg K. How does copayment for health care services affect demand, health and redistribution? A systematic review of the empirical evidence from 1990 to 2011. Eur J Health Econ 2013; 29 Aug [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1007/s10198-013-0526-8.
- 4. Solanki G, Schauffler HH, Miller LS. The direct and indirect effects of cost-sharing on the use of preventive services. Health Serv Res 2000; 34: 1331-1350.
- 5. Sen B, Blackburn J, Morrisey MA, et al. Did copayment changes reduce health service utilization among CHIP enrollees? Evidence from Alabama. Health Serv Res 2012; 47: 1603-1620.
- 6. Goodwin SM, Anderson GF. Effect of cost-sharing reductions on preventive services use among Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. Medicare Medicaid Res Rev 2012; 2: 002.01.a03. doi: 10.5600/mmrr.002.01.a03.
- 7. Cesare MD, Khang YH, Asaria P, et al. Inequalities in non-communicable diseases and effective responses. Lancet 2013; 381: 585-597.
- 8. Jabour B. State health programs in doubt after government wields budget axe. The Guardian [online] 2014; 16 May. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/16/state-health-programs-in-doubt-after-government-wields-budget-axe (accessed May 2014).
- 9. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Trends in coronary heart disease mortality: age groups and populations. Canberra: AIHW, 2014. (AIHW Cat. No. CVD 67; Cardiovascular Disease Series No. 38.) http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129547046 (accessed May 2014).
- 10. Olds T, Maher C, Zumin S, et al. Evidence that the prevalence of childhood overweight is plateauing: data from nine countries. Int J Pediatr Obesity 2011; 6: 342-360.
- 11. Australian Bureau of Statistics. The Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey 2012–13. Tobacco Smoking. Canberra: ABS, 2013. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/39E15DC7E770A144CA257C2F00145A66?opendocument (accessed May 2014).
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.