The Hobart Mercury, March 16, 2016.
A PARLIAMENTARY inquiry has recommended an overhaul of Tasmania’s preventative healthcare systems with the state lagging far behind the national average in several areas. A joint select committee report detailed a sorry summary of the state’s health and well being trends and subsequent need for reform including greater funding.
“The health of the Tasmanian population is significantly poorer than the national average with regard
to several of the major indicators including death rates, chronic disease, risky behaviours and mental health,” the report reads.
Committee chairwoman Ruth Forrest said it was crucial reforms considered social issues — such as housing, education
and employment which have an impact on health outcomes.
“Low health literacy has an adverse impact on lifestyle choices, either through a lack of knowledge and information,
or the inability to comprehend the health promotion and illness prevention messages and advice that is provided,” she said.
The independent MP dominated committee called for an increased focus on maternal health, aged care,
mental health, disability support and a greater promotion of healthy living.
' The premier’s department should be responsible for driving change and work with federal government departments
for improved outcomes', the report recommends.
It also calls for significant funding increases to preventive health measures but did not quantify the additional spend.