ACT Health provides a range of services and programs aimed at improving the health of the ACT population through interventions which promote behaviour changes to reduce susceptibility to illness; alter the ACT environment to promote the health of the population and promote interventions that remove or mitigate population health hazards.
ACT Health actively monitors and reports on the health status of the ACT population, through our surveillance and survey programs, and various epidemiological reports. Information about the health of Canberrans can be found in the biennial Healthy Canberra: ACT Chief Health Officer’s Report and on the HealthStats ACT website.
The ACT Chief Health Officer (CHO) is Dr Kerryn Coleman who holds responsibilities and delegations under various public health legislation. Dr Coleman can be contacted at (02) 5124 9442 or via email at ACTHealthOCHO@act.gov.au. The on-call ACT Chief Health Officer can be contacted on 02 5124 0000 (after hours only).
You can also keep up to date on population health matters in the ACT through the quarterly ACT Population Health Bulletin. ACT Health also has a range of fact sheets available on population health matters.
In the ACT, about 80 per cent of the burden of disease is attributable to preventable chronic conditions. The ageing of the ACT population, in combination with risk factors such as obesity, smoking, harmful alcohol consumption, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity present a major challenge for the health system. In response to these challenges, ACT Health implements a number of programs, services and initiatives, aimed at reducing preventable chronic conditions. Immunisation programs continue to prevent infectious diseases and a range of seasonal plans provide advice to Canberrans on staying safe and healthy throughout the year.
ACT Health undertakes a range of activities aimed at promoting healthy lifestyle choices and offers a range of settings-based initiatives in early childhood education, schools, workplaces, food outlets and sporting clubs to improve the health and wellbeing of the ACT community. The ACT Health Promotion Grants Program (ACTHPGP) aims to improve the health of Canberrans and minimise the risk of them developing chronic diseases.
ACT Health has a range of services aimed at protecting the health of the ACT community. The Health Protection Service is responsible for preventing public health incidents, as well as monitoring and enforcing public health regulations and providing public health advice. This includes identifying and responding to particular health hazards and taking action to reduce the risk to the health of the public from communicable diseases, environmental hazards and the supply of medicines and poisons. In addition, ACT Health runs an analytic laboratory, providing Toxicology and Forensic Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology testing.