The George Institute For Global Health
United Kingdom

Government Recommendations

The Institute regularly submits policy and practice recommendations to health, medical, science and research related government departments.

The George Institute welcomes the opportunity to provide input on the Draft Review Report for the Health Star Rating System.

Submission to Five Year Review of the Health Star Rating System - Consultation Paper: Options for System Enhancement

A five year formal review of Australia’s Health Star Rating front-of-pack nutrition labeling system is currently underway. The independent reviewer recently identified 10 key issues relating to the products on which the HSR appears and the way that stars are calculated, and proposed a range of options for addressing identified issues.

Submission to public consultation: Labelling of sugars on packaged foods and drinks

The George Institute supports improvements to the labeling of sugars on packaged foods and drinks to enable consumers to make informed choices in support of dietary guidelines. Foods and drinks can contain both naturally occurring and added sugars. Foods high in added sugars may displace more nutritious foods in the diet, and contribute to dental caries, unhealthy weight gain and associated non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Submission to the Inquiry into Australia’s Research Funding as conducted by the House Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Training

The George Institute welcomes the opportunity to make this submission to the Inquiry into the efficiency, effectiveness and coherency of Australian Government funding for research. Australia has a world leading track record health and medical research, recognising its fundamental role in improving health outcomes and creating a sustainable, quality health system for the benefit of all Australians. To ensure research can have the greatest impact, it is critical that the Government maximises the return on investment of every research dollar.

Submission to the Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia

Obesity is one of the greatest challenges facing Australian society, and our health system. Two thirds of Australian adults and one quarter of children are now overweight or obese. The fact that more than one million Australian children are of unhealthy weight is particularly concerning because they will face greatly increased future risks of serious diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. These conditions incur huge personal and economic costs on Australian families.

Submission to the review of Australia's Health Star Rating system

The George Institute’s Food Policy Division has been a supporter of the Health Star Rating system (HSR) since its inception, and remains keen to see the system achieve its full potential as a critical component of Australia’s response to diet-related disease. Our research suggests HSR is performing well overall, while also highlighting areas where the system could be strengthened to retain consumer trust and promote achievement of its primary public health goals.

Submission to the Data Availability and Use Public Inquiry

The Commission was required to: look at the benefits and costs of making public and private datasets more available; examine options for collection, sharing and release of data; identify ways consumers can use and benefit from access to data, particularly data about themselves; consider how to preserve individual privacy and control over data use.

Submission to the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy

Chronic diseases and injury are our biggest killers and cause of disability in Australia, yet over 30 percent of the burden of disease is preventable. There is a major knowledge gap about the most effective ways to get people preventative care and treatments proven to have major health benefits. This leaves many people without the treatments they need; or in some cases, people getting ineffective or even harmful treatments. More investment in research and expertise is needed to address this gap and ensure all Australians have access to the best care, when they need it.  

Submission to the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce Consultation

Chronic diseases affect more than 1 in every two Australians with nearly half of avoidable hospitalisations attributable to chronic disease. These conditions are complex, lifelong and often require care by multiple providers across the healthcare sector. The economic and social burden of chronic disease is set to increase, in line with Australia’s ageing population and high rates of obesity and inactivity.  

Submission to the Standing Committee on Health: Inquiry into Chronic Disease Prevention and Management in Primary Healthcare

While Australia’s health system is among the best in the world, health spending per person is predicted to double by 2055. The prevalence and cost of chronic disease makes a substantial contribution to this statistic. The question we need to answer is not whether we need to reform the current prevention and treatment of chronic diseases in primary care, but how we do this effectively and efficiently.

Recommendation on strengthening Australia’s clinical trials contribution and competitiveness

As an independent not-for-profit medical research institute that manages a major clinical trials research program, the key message of this recommendation is that any “Roadmap for Clinical Trials” must ensure that the health value of the clinical trials conducted in Australia is given at least as much emphasis as the financial value.

Recommendation on the Review of the National Innovation System

Recognising that the architecture of Australia’s existing national innovation system is now a generation old, the Institute welcomed the consideration of medical research as a key strength and source of innovation within Australia.

Recommendation on the Preventative Health Taskforce: Towards a National Primary Health Care Strategy

Australia’s first National Primary Health Care Strategy was tabled for discussion in early 2009. In response to this, the Institute recommended that serious consideration should be given to establishing a national health care innovation initiative.

Recommendation on the National Health and Hospital Reform: A Healthier Future for All Australians

Recommendations on developing a long-term health reform plan for Australia included adopting a rigorous research framework to provide decision-makers with irrefutable evidence about the impact of policy change on critical outcomes such as death, disability and hospital utilisation.

Recommendation on the discussion paper Australia: The Healthiest Country by 2020

The Institute prepared two submissions regarding this discussion paper. The first outlined the role of obesity and its relationship as a risk factor for major chronic diseases, emphasising the need for reliable, large-scale evidence about the efficacy and safety of the strategies for population-wide weight loss. The second highlighted the need for an effective national strategy for the control of population blood pressure, particularly that of salt reduction.