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Hunt puts mental health at heart of new National Health Plan

Health Minister Greg Hunt this week (Wednesday, August 14, 2019) announced the major pillars of the Federal Government’s Long Term National Health Plan, outlining a specific focus on mental health.

Having worked with a number of incredible clients in the mental health space, we are delighted to see the Minister’s focus on prioritising mental and preventative health for all age groups, particularly children.

We firmly believe mental health should be prioritised alongside physical health when it comes to improving quality of life for all Australians. In fact, the VIVA! team was privileged to have a recent session from NRL legend Dan Hunt, Founder of the Mental Health Movement, to improve our awareness of mental health in the workplace.  

The Plan’s other cornerstones include increasing access to medicines via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), extra support for public and private hospitals, making improvements to private health insurance and investing substantially in health and medical research to confirm Australia’s status on this front.

At VIVA! we know only too well the trail blazing work already being carried out by numerous institutes here in Australia. The clinical trials we’ve supported for depression, bipolar, anorexia and stuttering, with organisations like QIMR Berghofer and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, have been nothing short of ground-breaking.

Also included in the Plan is the creation of a National Preventive Health Strategy designed to look at chronic pain, immunisation and screening.

“The Government will deliver the world’s best mental health system – stigma-free and focused on prevention, starting with kids under 12, as well as a new child-specific strategy and a network of adult mental health centres.

“This plan will drive reforms in mental health, primary care, hospitals, preventive health and medical research over next three and 10 years, including a new care model for patients over 70, universal telehealth and genomics and a 10-year National Preventive Health Strategy, including cancer screening, vaccination and Indigenous health targets,” said Minister Hunt.

Watch this space for more about the benefits of telehealth as part of our work with the Australasian College of Dermatologists.

Finally, Hunt also announced interesting plans for an Inter-generational Health and Mental Health Study of more than 60,000 Australians aiming to provide the most complete picture ever of our physical and mental health.

Read the full National Health Plan.

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