Australia Unlikely to Hit WHO Target


Fraser Clarke

Calls for a ‘Sugar Tax’ and other tougher legislation have grown in Australia, as the country attempts to fight the growing burden of chronic disease.

New figures have shown that the country is now unlikely to hit World Health Organisation targets for Chronic Disease by its 2030 goal, with women set to be more than a decade late in reducing the number of deaths from chronic disease by a third.

With one in ten countries reporting a rise in the number of deaths from cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, calls from strong legislation (such as a ‘Sugar Tax’) are now back on the agenda.

Implemented in more than 20 countries including the UK, Mexico and South Africa, the sugar tax results in a drop of almost 10% of annual consumption of sugary beverages.

Speaking to the Royal Australia College of GPs, Public Policy Director at Australia’s Cancer Council, Paul Grogan, said: “Sugary drinks are one of the starkest examples of a widely known product of no nutritional basis marketed to people at risk of other chronic diseases.

“Australia is a world leader in tobacco control as a result of government action, but you can perform very well in one area and poorly in another.

“Nutrient-poor food is widely promoted like never before - and that’s a matter governments can act on.”

Australia remains a hugely popular location with medics seeking a more rewarding career overseas. This is especially true for General Practitioners who feel overworked and undervalued in the NHS.

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