What would you do with $100 million a year for prevention?

Following last year’s report by Professor Alan Shiell and Hannah Jackson, showing that Australia should focus on where we target prevention spending rather than on how much we spend, the Prevention Centre has delved deeper into the issue with a sponsored special issue of the Health Promotion Journal of Australia.

Sponsored by the Prevention Centre and the Foundation of Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), and published online, the special issue comprises commentaries by invited national and international policymakers, researchers and practitioners on the ‘best buys’ if they had an extra $100 million per year to spend on prevention in the next four years

Professor Shiell said Australia currently spends more than $2 billion on preventive health each year, or around $89 per person – significantly less than other comparable OECD countries.

“The argument is often made that Australia should increase spending on preventive health. However, our research has recommended that rather than focusing on how much we spend, we should focus on where we target the spending,” he said.

To gain a sense of where new resources could be targeted most effectively, we asked Australian and international leaders in prevention how they would target resources if we increased spending by just 5% of the current annual budget, or about $100 million per year.

To complement the supplement, read our blogs by the chief economist for Public Health England, Professor Brian Ferguson, and Rohan Greenland, General Manager, Advocacy, National Heart Foundation of Australia.