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Canterbury Health in All Policies Newsletter: November 2020

Wednesday, November 4, 2020   Posted in: Newsletters By: Administrator With tags: newsletter, health in all policies, planning, collaboration, resilience, health determinants, poverty

The COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting one of the most important concepts underlying the Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach: How policy decisions affect health and health systems, including the distribution of health and equity.

A well implemented HiAP framework can address preventable poor health and significantly improve life expectancy and quality of life outcomes. This will lower costs and the burden on the healthcare system in the long term and improve outcomes as our population ages. In addition, improved health and wellbeing also improve economic productivity, security and civic engagement, which provides further economic and social benefits.

Given the frantic pace of responding to both a public health crisis and an economic crisis, taking a HiAP approach can seem like one more item on a never-ending to-do list. However, governments, both national and local, that can effectively strengthen their cross-sector collaboration skills and engage all of their agencies in response and recovery activities will be able to foster greater innovation, ensure healthier communities, and build stronger, more resilient societies.

Whether or not the language of the HiAP approach is used, the pandemic has shown the power of this approach to modify established ways of doing things and to create significant change to protect the community’s health.

Cities around the world have responded to the many challenges raised by COVID-19, including mobility, food security and safety, protecting older people and marginalised populations.
One example is converting spaces into pedestrian-friendly liveable streets to bolster small businesses and allow safe distancing.

It is exciting to see the amount of projects with positive implications on determinants of health emerging in the Canterbury region; from long-term collaborative projects like Greater Christchurch 2050 to many other small events and initiatives. This is a wonderful sign that health and wellbeing is being considered and prioritised – and perhaps even becoming part of business-as-usual for some agencies.

COVID-19 will continue to impact individuals, families and communities for months and possibly years to come. Canterbury is well-positioned to ensure a wellbeing focus continues going forward.

Evon Currie
General Manager
Te Mana Ora Community and Public Health

Read the November 2020 issue of the CDHB Health in All Policies Newsletter online.

In this issue:

  • Setting a vision for Greater Christchurch 2050;
  • "It’s all of us”: Partnership approaches to reducing alcohol-related harm;
  • Measuring disability;
  • Great projects addressing the social determinants of health;
  • Living in poverty was bad for your health before COVID;
  • International Resource: Integrating health in urban and territorial planning;
  • Health websites now available through sponsored data;
  • Connecting: Events, Resources and News; and
  • Broadly Speaking: Last chance for 2020.

Subscribe to the CDHB Health in All Policies Newsletter.

Health in All Policies (HiAP) is a structured approach that systematically takes into account the health implications of decisions, seeks synergies, and avoids harmful health impacts, in order to improve population health and health equity.

Canterbury's Health in All Policies Team is based at Community and Public Health, part of the Canterbury District Health Board.