An article published in the 20 November edition of NZ Doctor suggests the Government may be considering funding a community based health promotion programme in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Follow a visit to the “Healthy Together Victoria” obesity prevention programme in Australia, Health Minister Tony Ryall has acknowledged the value of implementing preventative health at a community, grass roots level here. “This actually works,” says Ryall; “and if it can work in Australia, it can work in New Zealand.”
The programme’s success is attributed to an approach that values contribution and buy in from the local community, leaders and groups. “Healthy Together Victoria” uses local councils to coordinate a team of health promoters, who work with local community groups. “It’s being evaluated, it works and it’s based on evidence,” says Ryall, who told NZ Doctor his officials have been looking at the Victorial model for several months.
The Victorian State Government provides communities with four or five year contracts. Ryall believes the contract length is fundamental: allowing capacity-building at the local level.
The Minister stopped short of committing to the programme, but said “… I’m sure we could afford to do something.”
Article adapted from NZ Doctor article by Karen Hicks
Edited by Jo Lawrence King
Published: 2 December 2013
Photo: Crown copyright