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We want Canberrans to enjoy the highest standards of health at every stage of life and to take part in the opportunities our city has to offer.

We have set the foundations for achieving this goal with the Healthy Canberra: ACT Preventive Health Plan 2020–2025.

Reducing the prevalence of chronic disease

We are committed to supporting all Canberrans to make healthy lifestyle choices and to take the steps needed to prevent disease. We recognise that actions by the health sector alone will not be enough to meet this challenge.

The Healthy Canberra: ACT Preventive Health Plan 2020–2025 is being delivered in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders, including non–government organisations, communities, other government agencies, industry and researchers.

The plan outlines 5 priority areas:

Each priority area includes objectives outlining what we want to achieve.

Reaching our goal of reducing the prevalence of chronic disease and supporting good health across all stages of life requires a sustained effort.

Action plans

The plan is implemented through two, 3-year action plans that identify common outcomes across government and the community to enable collective action for sustainable change.

The ACT Preventive Health Action Plan 2020-2022 was the first action plan released.

You can learn more about the achievements of the first action plan in the ACT Preventive Health Plan Annual Activity Report 2020.

The ACT Preventive Health Action Plan 2023-2025 is the second action plan which builds on the health and wellbeing achievements of the first action plan.

Some of the actions from the first action plan will continue during 2023-2025 as we aim to support longer term objectives. These actions will be complemented by a range of new and emerging actions.

This includes addressing challenges caused by the increasing e-cigarette use, rising cost of living pressures, harmful impacts of alcohol use in private settings and the need to invest in better supporting children and families to save future costs to the healthcare system.

The development of the second action plan was also informed by consultation with a range of Canberrans. The consultation report is available on the YourSay platform.

A focus on prevention

An important focus of the plan is the prevention of chronic disease.

In 2018, 38% of the burden of disease in Australia could have been prevented by reducing or avoiding exposure to modifiable risk factors such as:

  • tobacco use
  • overweight and obesity
  • poor diet
  • high blood pressure
  • alcohol use.

Long-term health conditions

As a population, the ACT has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, but while we are living longer, we experience a significant burden of chronic disease.

In 2017 to 2018, more than 48% of adults in the ACT had at least one of these chronic diseases:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • back problems
  • cancer
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • osteoporosis
  • mental health conditions.

Healthy Canberra Grants

Healthy Canberra Grants supports prevention objectives by offering grant funding to community-based organisations.

Grant funding is used to improve the health of Canberrans and minimise the impact of chronic disease by focusing on the priority areas of the Preventive Health Plan.

Find out more about funding opportunities at  Healthy Canberra Grants.

You can also email hpgrants@act.gov.au to find out about grants on offer or be added to our distribution list.

Evaluation

It is important to measure our progress. The plan's evaluation framework provides clear direction for all stakeholders on:

  • what needs to be achieved in the short and long term
  • how we will measure and report on progress
  • where we may need to adjust our efforts.

In 2022, a mid-term review of the plan was completed.

The review looked at the processes underpinning the whole-of-government approach to prevention and made recommendations for the second action plan.

More information

Population–level indicators relating to chronic disease are reported on HealthStats.

The Chief Health Officer Report monitors the state of population health in the ACT. The recent reporting includes information about healthy weight and burden of disease.