The Liberals have committed $1.1m per annum for preventative health from 2020-2021, which is close to double the current funding level of $650,000. Although a large relative increase, this falls well short of the investment required in preventative health to shift the health outcomes of Tasmanians. The Liberals have also committed to a $6.6m Tasmanian Community Health Fund, which will support local additions to state-wide preventative health initiatives.
Other relevant funding includes $870K over two years for the Good Sport Program, $10M over two for the upgrading of women’s sporting facilities, and $6.6m into Neighbourhood Houses over three years.
The headline expenditure on preventative health does not appear adequate for achieving the goals of the Healthy Tasmania Five Year Plan, which state Tasmania will be the healthiest state in Australia by 2025.
It is well known that the burden of chronic illnesses falls disproportionately on disadvantaged people and regions. The Tasmanian Community Health Fund could help to ameliorate this low spend in preventative health in disadvantaged communities.
The initiatives in funding women’s sporting facilities and Neighbourhood Houses will have an impact, through greater female sport participation, greater social inclusion, and preventative mental health activity.
We welcome the investment made in preventative mental health through funding for the Rural Alive & Well program.
Read the Liberal health policies