Our centre for disease control needs to come into the world wrapped in plenty of cash – hundreds of millions, not tens.
Two months before the federal budget and any allocation of cash to the establishment of an Australian centre for disease control (yes, ACDC), experts are lobbying hard for the government not to stint on available dollars.
The Public Health Association of Australia has drafted a “Manifesto for an Australian centre for disease control” and has hit the publicity trail in the lead-up to the budget, saying it wants the ACDC to “have a healthy birth”.
Speaking on Radio National, PHAA spokesman and former NSW Chief health Officer Dr George Rubin listed all the reasons why a complex organisation such as a CDC needed adequate funding.
“An ACDC needs to be trusted, it needs to be evidence driven, it needs to give frank and fearless advice, it needs the capacity to respond quickly, it needs to be consistent across jurisdictions, it needs seamless data systems and its measures of success will be lower levels of sickness and stress on the healthcare system,” he said.
“It’s a complex organisation and we’re optimistic and very hopeful that it has a healthy birth.
“There’s a lot of goodwill toward the ACDC by people working in public health and wider health communities.
“We all want it to succeed to ensure fewer people get sick, and there’s less demand on our troubled health care system. We’re speaking up because we want the Centre to have its best possible chance of life, and it is too important an entity to have its funding trimmed before it’s been able to work.
“It needs to have a budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars, not tens. Its successes will be in results over the long term, such as in increased longevity, and a higher quality of life and wellbeing.”