Federal funding for preventive health projects in Victoria

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Health minister Greg Hunt has announced $23 million for Victorian health projects focused on preventing chronic disease.

The projects, which will be delivered under a partnership between the federal and Victorian governments, aim to tackle chronic disease, obesity and reduce the number of avoidable hospitalisations related to cardiovascular disease.

Minister Hunt said chronic conditions are the leading cause of ill health and death in Australia and account for 87 per cent of deaths.

“Each year, one Australian dies of cardiovascular disease every 12 minutes,” he said.

“These projects target a range of issues and build on our Government’s commitment to investing in health projects that save lives, improve lives and protect lives.”

Enduring Data Linkage Strategy will receive $3.5 million for their project that is working on improving outcomes for Victorians with cardiovascular disease by routinely identifying patients who may be at high risk of hospitalisation or re-hospitalisation.

In addition, $8.5 million will fund a range of initiatives to reduce readmission to hospitals, including the Health Helper program and the Cardiovascular Ambassadors nurse program, which together will help ensure people get the follow-up care they need after experiencing heart failure.

Another $3 million will be invested to rapidly identify unusual patterns of illness that may indicate a risk to public health. The software will be rolled out to emergency departments and other health services across Victoria so an early and appropriate public health response can be deployed.

The Healthy Kids Advisors Initiative will receive $8 million to focus on boosting healthy eating to help prevent obesity and chronic disease.

"We know that health eating habits, together with regular physical activity and adequate sleep, help children reach their full potential while reducing the likelihood of preventable chronic diseases down the track," said Minister Hunt.