Evohealth / Preparing Australia: Designing an Australian Centre for Disease Control (CDC)
For many Australians, the COVID-19 pandemic has been their defining experience of public health in action. As we retreated to our homes to protect ourselves and each other from the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus, terms like ‘social distancing’, ‘flattening the curve’ and ‘PCR test’ entered mainstream vernacular. Suddenly, something that had once been contained to the movies became our new reality.

Without a national organisation that facilitates and coordinates a response to communicable disease control and prevention Australia’s response to the pandemic was at times fractured and confusing.

Australia is the only OECD nation that does not have a CDC
The Albanese Government is delivering on its promise to better coordinate public health during future outbreaks through the establishment of a CDC. A recent consultation paper from the Department of Health and Aged Care provides seven principles for the design of a CDC.

An Australian CDC would bring together the various elements of health protection and promotion into one organisation: an organisation that is led by the Federal Government and seamlessly integrates with State and Territory health systems and services.

Our report, Preparing Australia provides an overview of the rationale for establishing a CDC, how overseas countries are working to review their CDC structures following lessons learned in the pandemic, and suggests two additional principles for Government to consider.

Beardmore, R, MacNamara, C and Birchall L. Preparing Australia: Designing an Australian Centre for Disease Control (CDC). Evohealth. 2022.

Renae Beardmore

Managing Director, Evohealth

Claire MacNamara

Senior Advisor, Evohealth

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