Health in All Policies

The South Australian approach

Health in All Policies (HiAP) is an approach which emphasises the fact that health and wellbeing are largely influenced by measures that are often managed by government sectors other than health.

HiAP seeks to highlight the connections and interactions between health and policies from other sectors. HiAP explores policy options that contribute to the goals of non-health sectors and will improve health outcomes.

By considering health impacts across all policy domains such as agriculture, education, the environment, fiscal policies, housing and transport, population health can be improved and the growing economic burden of the health care system can be reduced.

The health sector’s role is to support other sectors to achieve their goals in a way which also improves health and wellbeing.

Why do we need Health in All Policies?

Despite major developments in the management and prevention of acute illness, chronic conditions are emerging as a significant ongoing cost to the community.

The majority of these chronic conditions are preventable and are closely linked with living conditions or the determinants of health which tend to be influenced by policies outside the health sector. For example, it has been shown that transport has well recognised effects on health and inequalities.

The determinants of health highlight the need for policy makers in all sectors to be aware of the impact of their decisions on population health and to act to incorporate considerations of health into their policies.

Implementation of HiAP provides a system which enables governments to respond in a coordinated way to the health and wellbeing needs of the population. HiAP also aims to bridge the gap in health inequalities, especially those seen within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

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