Message from the Chief Health Officer
Welcome to Your health: Report of the Chief Health Officer, Victoria, 2018.
This is the seventh biennial report published by the Chief Health Officer of Victoria, and the first since I commenced in this role in 2019.
This report, a requirement of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, provides a snapshot of the health of Victorians. It presents information from several sources and highlights key topics to paint a broad picture of the health of Victorians.
Global challenges impacting Victoria
Maternal and infant health
Discussing two key issues for maternal and infant health in Victoria, safe sleeping of infants and improving health outcomes for Aboriginal women and babies.
Discussing climate change and key issues such as air quality, heat health and thunderstorm asthma.
Discussing safe drinking water, water fluoridation and preventing and controlling public health impacts from microorganisms that can cause illness in swimming pools.
Discussing some of the ways the department is undertaking surveillance of communicable disease to help keep Victorians safe.
Discussing how immunisation plays a part in preventing illnesses in children and adults.
Discussing the most common cancers in Victoria, people at most risk of heart disease, diabetes, and the musculoskeletal conditions of arthritis and osteoporosis.
Discussing mental illness indicators and the important work to help prevent suicides across the state.
Discussing falls prevention among older Victorians and family violence prevention.
Discussing child and adult dental caries (tooth decay) experience and affordability of dental care.
Data used in this report
The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 requires the Chief Health Officer to publish a comprehensive report on public health and wellbeing in Victoria every two years. The last Chief Health Officer report was the 2016 report published in 2018.
This 2018 report has used data primarily from reports published or data available to the department up to 31 December 2018. These reports relate to data collected in 2018 or earlier. In cases where limited data was available on a given topic, reports published or data available to the department in early 2019 were sourced.
As this is an online report, links to some of the sources of data have been added to provide further digital content. In some cases, these links provide content that has been updated since writing. This means that readers can obtain up-to-date data and information in greater detail.
The articles presented in this report do not represent an exhaustive examination of each topic; rather they present an overview of each topic with links to other reports for more detailed information or other topics not covered in this report.
Throughout this report, the word 'department' refers to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
provides an overview of the health and wellbeing of Victorians, as well as the determinants of health in Victoria. It identifies the health issues facing Victorians, and is a starting point in considering policy and government investments for improving people's health. It provides a strong basis for a concerted effort to reduce health inequalities and improve the health status of Victorians by tackling the enormous burden of, and the steady increase in, preventable diseases.
Reviewed 26 October 2021