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Injury prevention and control is one of seven National Health Priority Areas The Australian Health Ministers endorsed injury Prevention and Control as a National Priority Area in 1986 in recognition of the national burden of injury Injuries result in an estimated 8000 or 6 of deaths each year in Australia and are responsible for an estimated 400000 hospital admissions annually Injuries are the principal cause of death in almost half of the people under 45 years of age and account for a range of physical and psychological disabilities that seriously affect the quality of life of injured people and their families Significant health costs are also attributable to injury accounting for approximately 8 of the total direct costs of all diseases annually Health costs associated with injury in Australia have been estimated to be 26 billion annually The National Health Priorities Areas NHPA initiative is Australias response to the World Health Organizations global strategy Health for All by the Year 2000 and its revised strategy Health for All in the 21st Century The NHPA initiative is a collaborative effort involving the Commonwealth State and Territory governments and the non-government sector and focuses on those areas that contribute most to the burden of illness and injury in the community particularly if the burden can be significantly reduced It provides a framework for national action to achieve health gains in the seven priority areas arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions asthma cancer control cardiovascular health diabetes mellitus injury prevention and control and mental health The diseases and conditions targeted through the NHPA process were chosen because these are the areas where significant gains in the health of Australias population can be achieved Taken together the seven NHPAs account for almost 80 of the total burden of disease and injury in Australia By targeting specific areas that impose high social and financial costs on Australian society collaborative action can achieve significant and cost-effective advances in improving the health of Australians
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