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Where is the Public Health Division heading?

bow of sail boat heading into the bay

There are a number of initiatives that are particularly important for the Division in the next few years.

The input of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, and the Chief Health Professions Officer, will allow us to examine closely areas that sit between clinical practice (focused on individuals) and public health practice (population-focused). Communicable diseases and common chronic diseases often require a combined approach, and the respective workforces need to work together (eg to promote screening in clinical care).

We have introduced a new Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutics Bill and will be promoting the benefits of a new Public Health Act to replace the current Health Act 1911 .

Successful implementation of the COAG National Partnership Agreement on Preventative Health , and strong State-based campaigns like Livelighter will help stem the rise in risk factors for chronic disease.

We will continue to plan and respond to seasonal and pandemic influenza , and other communicable disease threats.

We will strive to further improve immunisation rates through the WA Immunisation Strategy 2013-2015.

We will invest more in mosquito surveillance, research and control, following a new State Government election commitment in 2013.

We are committed to contributing to Closing the Gap in Aboriginal Health via various initiatives including:

  • addressing environmental health and food security issues in remote areas
  • improving immunisation outcomes
  • strengthening sexual health programs
  • contributing to tobacco control and injury and chronic disease prevention
  • delivering regional health profiles
  • quality data to measure the gap in health outcomes

We have strongly developed our spatial information capabilities as application of this new technology promises benefits in many areas of health, from environmental health to disaster management and into the clinical arena. Since 2009, we have been partners in the Cooperative Research Centre in Spatial Information.

We will continue to utilise and develop our world class data linkage system , which is the best in Australia, to deliver high quality research outputs, and inform the development of an improved national system.

We will integrate advances in genomics into health policy, best practice antenatal and postnatal screening, and genetic services more generally. In 2014, we plan to introduce a new WA Rare Diseases Strategy.

We will be ready to respond to a range of natural and man-made disasters, and invest in the training and logistics that underpins successful disaster preparedness.

We will strive to improve our communication at all levels through traditional means, new initiatives (such as Yearbooks) and social media.

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