Prioritising Self-Care and its essential role in protecting public health

26 August 2020

Consumer Healthcare Products (CHP) Australia today releases its supplementary pre-budget submission, encouraging the Federal Government to make enabling greater self-care a policy priority given its essential role in protecting public health in the pandemic environment and beyond.

“The value of responsible self-care for individuals, healthcare systems and protecting public health has never been more apparent” CHP Australia CEO, Dr Deon Schoombie explains.

In managing the pandemic, health authorities have identified multiple well-established self-care skills and behaviours as essential to stopping the spread of COVID-19 including:

  • practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene,
  • actively managing well-being, staying healthy and building immunity,
  • avoiding risky health behaviours i.e. smoking,
  • identifying symptoms and knowing the most appropriate place to go for advice and/or care,
  • monitoring your health and responsibly self-treating common health conditions,
  • appropriately accessing healthcare services.

A new report released by the Mitchell Institute, Self-care and health: by all, for all. Learning from COVID-19, highlights how self-care offers an explicit strategy for combating the spread of COVID-19, future infectious diseases, and the burden of preventable and chronic diseases.

“If properly supported, self-care can be a game changer for public health, with benefits being shared by individuals and government.” Dr Deon Schoombie.

The report recommends that governments focus on enabling the health system to embed self-care support in all health care services and to prioritise prevention and management of both infectious and chronic diseases, particularly in primary health care. 

CHP Australia has endorsed the Mitchell Institute’s report, and the implementation of its recommendations in full.

CHP Australia’s Supplementary 2020-21 Pre-Budget Submission is available HERE.