What is the role of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) in Policy and Advocacy at the RACP?
The Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) provides training and continuing education for Public Health Medicine Fellows and trainees. AFPHM is committed to achieving a high standard of population health in Australia and New Zealand. Along with providing education and training in Public Health Medicine, AFPHM supports Public Health Medicine research and development, advocates for the highest standard of population health and promotes public debate on matters that affect the health of the community.
AFPHM Fellows and trainees play a key role in the policy and advocacy work of the RACP.
Health in All Policies
All government policies can play a part in promoting good health by recognising and responding to the social determinants of health (SDoH). Education, transport, housing, environmental policy and more can influence the health of individuals and populations. Recognising the need for a joined-up approach to addressing the SDoH, the RACP has developed a Health in All Policies (HiAP) Position Statement.
The Position Statement is an introduction to HiAP for physicians and other health professionals, encouraging them to consider how it can influence the prevention, treatment and trajectory of illness (physical and mental).
Health professionals play a particularly important role in addressing the SDoH by influencing behavioural and psychosocial risk factors, as well as being advocates for public policy that takes a HiAP approach.
Increasingly, governments around the world are recognising the benefits of taking account of HiAP.
HiAP is an approach to policy-making that places ‘health’ as a key decision-making factor in all areas of policy, by systematically taking into account the health and health-system implications of policy decisions, by seeking synergies between policy portfolios, and by avoiding harmful health impacts, in order to improve population health and health equity.
World Health Organization (WHO) (2013), Health in All Policies: Framework for Country Action, p.2
The development of the RACP’s Health in All Policies Position Statement has been driven by two core principles:
Illness and disease are exacerbated by and distributed in direct relationship to inequities in society. SDoH are often responsible for health inequities – the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen between individuals; and
Addressing the SDoH will reduce the burden of avoidable disease and associated health expenditure, support healthier decisions and lifestyles, and improve economic growth and development.
Download the RACP Health in All Policies Position Statement (PDF 919KB).