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You are here:
Good morning. I’m Tanya Plibersek, the Health Minister. Welcome to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Australia’s health 2012 conference.
Parliament’s sitting today, so I’m afraid I can’t be with you in person, but I would like to congratulate AIHW on the new edition of ‘Australia’s health’.
A lot of work goes into producing this wonderful resource.
For 25 years, the Institute’s provided up-to-date and accurate information on the health and well-being of Australians.
Australia’s health 2012 continues that proud tradition. It’s a go-to resource for many of the nation’s health experts and policy-makers.
And anyone visiting my office will notice dog-eared copies of Australia’s health on all the desks.
The new edition shows us that Australia is on the right track to better health. Our life expectancy is among the highest in the world. Our smoking rates are falling and will continue to fall with our landmark plain packaging reform.
The mortality rates for many serious conditions are declining. Of course, there’s always more to do and the report highlights some of these areas as well.
As part of the recent Budget, the government’s provided further funding for health services, so that health care’s available where, and when, people need it.
Our dental package will provide over half a billion dollars as a first step to better support for people who can least afford dental care.
Bowel cancer screening will receive an additional $50 million over the next four years, to add people who are turning 60 and 70 to the screening program.
Put simply, bowel cancer screening saves lives, so we’re moving in stages to biennial screening.
We’re also continuing the rollout of our e-health initiatives, and investing a further $475 million in building and upgrading our health facilities.
So with so many leading health experts gathered today, I’m looking forward to hearing the outcomes of your discussions.
And finally, it’s with great pleasure that I launch Australia’s health 2012, and its companion, the ‘in brief’ booklet. These are invaluable resources for understanding Australia’s health in 2012. Thank you.