Department of Health Annual Report 2016-17

Inside Cover

Page last updated: 19 October 2017

Welcome to the Department of Health 2016-17 Annual Report

Australia’s health system is world-class, supported by universal and affordable access to high quality medical, pharmaceutical and hospital services, while helping people to stay healthy through health promotion and disease prevention activities.

The Commonwealth Department of Health was established in 1921, in part as a response to the devastating effects of the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1919, and through the vision of the first head of the Department, Dr J H L Cumpston.

We have continued to evolve over the past 96 years, and have undergone a number of changes in name, function and structure, while retaining the continued commitment of improving health and wellbeing for all Australians.

The health system touches every individual from cradle to grave. It is a complex landscape with many interdependencies, and many stakeholders. As stewards of the health system, the Department continues to work with stakeholders as essential partners in driving health reform.

Our Purpose is to assist the Government to lead and shape Australia’s health and aged care system and sporting outcomes through evidence-based policy, well targeted programs, and best practice regulation.