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The National Health Priority Areas (NHPAs) are diseases and conditions that Australian governments have chosen for focused attention because they contribute significantly to the burden of illness and injury in the Australian community.

The 9 NHPAs

The AIHW publishes information on the NHPAs and their associated indicators and risk factors, across the Australian population and focusing on particular populations of interest. See the individual subject sections for the latest AIHW information on them.

The NHPA initiative

The National Health Priority Areas (NHPA) initiative was Australia's response to the World Health Organisation's global strategy Health for All by the year 2000 and its subsequent revision. It is a program of collaborative action between Commonwealth and State and Territory governments, non-government organisations, health experts, clinicians and consumers, for specific diseases and conditions. The initiative recognises that the strategies for reducing the burden of illness should be pluralistic, encompassing the continuum of care from prevention through to treatment, management and maintenance, and based on appropriate research and data sources. The initiative is overseen by the National Health Priority Action Council (NHPAC).

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 status of Australians. The diseases and conditions targeted under the NHPA initiative were chosen because through appropriate and focused attention on them, significant gains in the health of Australia’s population can be achieved.

The National Chronic Disease Strategy

The Australian Health Ministers' Conference (AHMC) endorsed the National Chronic Disease Strategy (NCDS) in November 2005, to provide an overarching framework of national direction for improving chronic disease prevention and care across Australia.

It is a nationally agreed agenda to encourage coordinated action in response to the growing impact of chronic disease on the health of Australians and our health care system.

Under the NCDS, the NHPAs are still priorities, but they sit within the framework of the NCDS.