ACE Prevention – Guiding intervention choices around avoidable disease burden and cost effectiveness of prevention

ACE Prevention, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council with additional support from the CRCAH, is the most comprehensive evaluation of health prevention measures ever conducted worldwide, involving input from 130 top health experts. The research team assessed 123 illness prevention measures to identify those which will prevent the most illness and premature deaths and those that are best value for money. For comparison purposes 27 treatment interventions were included. The overall aim of this five-year undertaking was to provide a comprehensive analysis of the comparative cost-effectiveness of preventive intervention options addressing the non-communicable disease burden in Australia. One component specifically focusing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The findings demonstrate how to achieve not only a more efficient system of health, but also a fairer system. The report’s focus on deeply entrenched health inequalities facing Indigenous Australians paints a striking picture – we simply must do more to improve the physical and mental health of those experiencing social, economic or geographical disadvantage. The main finding from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander component of the project is that up to 50 per cent more health gain could be achieved if ACCHSs deliver health programs to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population rather than if the same programs are delivered via mainstream primary care services. This 50 per cent greater health gain is based on conventional measures of ‘good health’ that focus on individual health, and does not take into account extra benefits such as community health gain and cultural security that are valued by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Professor Ian Anderson guided the direction of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander component of the project, in conjunction with a Project Steering Committee comprising academics and policy makers with experience in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector. This ensured that the project objectives were consistent with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health needs and that the research was conducted in a culturally sensitive manner.

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land across Australia and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.