The role that AUSactive Professionals play in Preventative Health outcomes
- If you were at the AusFitness Expo, you may have heard our CEO Barrie Elvish talking about how you- our registered members- play a big part in preventing health issues like chronic disease by getting our community more active, under programs that could be subsidised by Medicare.
- All of you know that regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health and that it can prevent people from developing chronic conditions like obesity and heart disease. Also, a recent study, the most comprehensive to date, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, shows that physical activity is 1.5 times more effective than counselling or the leading medications.
- In recent times, you will have noticed the media reporting on our Medicare crisis, that there is a rapid decline in the number of doctors bulk billing, gap payments have been increasing and there’s a shortage of human resources ranging from general practitioners through to nurses, carers and general support staff, which is why the Federal Government has allocated funding in its recent Budget to strengthen the health system and this is where our sector needs to be involved in the government’s reform of Medicare – particularly to rethink what medical services are funded and expanded to include those of a preventative nature.
- We will continue to talk to the government about being involved in the development of any guidelines relating to preventative health and physical activity and we will continue to advocate for the government to recognise AUSactive members delivering exercise programs that are subsidised under Medicare. Subsidising these programs would make them affordable and accessible to the people that need them the most.
2023 Federal Budget Wrap Up: What it means for the Active Health and Exercise Sector
- It was a big Budget for our sector. When you look at the government’s $1.1 billion allocation to health prevention, protection and sport, there are encouraging proposals, like the decision to improve cancer outcomes as well as the allocation of $9.1 million to establish an Australian Centre for Disease Control. Our hope is that this centre looks at implementing preventative health measures to support our communities.
- $24.7 million has also been allocated to creating inclusive and healthy communities through promoting physical activity, that is linked to the new National Sports Plan. The government have said that they want to encourage and enable healthy lifestyles, physical activity, and good nutrition through implementation of initiatives aligned with the National Preventive Health Strategy 2021–2030, as well as the development and promotion of relevant guidelines.
- Another beacon of hope that the government responded to in its recent Budget (and an initiative AUSactive has been advocating for) is around implementing a legacy framework that will ensure upcoming major international sporting events due to be held in Australia will deliver lasting social, economic, sporting- and we would say- health benefits, for all Australians.
- $16.7 million is also being invested to draft a new Aged Care Act to look at how older adults use their funding under My Aged Care to use services to keep them independent. We have already signed up to be part of the government’s consultation process to let them know that our sector is capable of preventing older adults from developing chronic conditions, improving older people’s health, enhancing their wellbeing, facilitating social connection and providing strength training to keep them independent through exercise.
- $234 million funding has been earmarked for a new public health information campaign to discourage Australians from taking up smoking and vaping with the aim of getting people to quit. We are encouraged that the government has initiated this kind of public health campaign, because we know that they work- as demonstrated by the Slip Slop Slap, AIDS and road safety campaigns. This is why we at AUSactive continue to advocate to government to fund a national public preventative health campaign to encourage people to become more active. A campaign like this would help the government achieve its Global Action Plan on physical activity target to get 15% more of the population active by 2030.
- For those of you who are trying to make your businesses more environmentally friendly, the government has created the Small Business Energy Incentive that will provide $310 million towards tax relief and support to small businesses who become more energy efficient. For example, if you invest in energy-efficient appliances and reduce your energy use, you may be eligible for government support. We will provide you with more information about this program when it becomes available.
There is a lot of information here! so if you have any questions, please e-mail me at: [email protected]