textual image stating 'Department of Health, Victoria, Australia'

Prevention and Population Health

Victorians are facing increasing rates of chronic illness which is placing unprecedented pressure on the health system. Keeping Victorians as well as they can be is important for individuals, families and the community. It is also crucial for a strong economy and healthy, productive workforce.

Preventing illness and improving health and wellbeing is a major challenge requiring specific action and a collective effort. To achieve sustained reductions in the growth of preventable chronic diseases, and to create lasting improvements in the health and wellbeing of people and communities, we need a prevention system that is coordinated, responsive, sustainable, and that complements our healthcare system.

Victoria is at the forefront in leading reform in prevention and early detection and has invested in a range of prevention initiatives targeting specific areas such as tobacco control, obesity, physical activity, sexual health, heart disease, cancer screening and skin cancer prevention.

As we recognise the importance of influencing the social, environmental, and behavioural factors that determine health, Victoria is also participating in the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health.

This Federal initiative will deliver both state-wide and targeted community level investments in chronic disease prevention.

What's new

The Victorian government has released the public health and wellbeing plan 2015-2019.

The Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2015-2019 outlines the government’s key priorities over the next four years to improve the health and wellbeing of all Victorians, particularly the most disadvantaged.

Read more about the Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2015-2019.


Legislative framework

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 is the overarching legislation for public health in Victoria. The Act consolidates the state’s role in tackling increasing levels of preventable diseases and requires that a state public health and wellbeing plan be developed every four years, commencing September 2011.

The Act seeks to achieve the highest attainable standard of public health and wellbeing by:

“Protecting public health and preventing disease, illness, injury, disability or premature death, promoting conditions in which people can be healthy and reducing inequalities in the state of public health and wellbeing.”

Further information

To download the Act, see the Legislation Victoria website.