Economies through application of nonmedical primary-preventative health: Lessons from the healthy country healthy people experience of Australia’s aboriginal people

David Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialOtherpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The World Health Organization reports noncommunicable disease as a global pandemic. While national and international health research/policy bodies, such as the World Health Organization and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, emphasize the importance of preventative health, there is a continuing distortion in the allocation of resources to curative health as a result of government failure. Government failure is, in part, the result of a political response to individual preference for certainty in receiving treatment for specific health conditions, rather than the uncertainty of population-based preventative intervention. This has led to a failure to engage with those primary causative factors affecting chronic disease, namely the psychosocial stressors, in which the socioeconomic determinants are an important component. Such causal factors are open to manipulation through government policies and joint government-government, government-private cooperation through application of nonmedical primary-preventative health policies. The health benefits of Aboriginal people in traditional land management, or caring-for-country, in remote to very remote Australia, is used to exemplify the social benefits of nonmedical primary-preventative health intervention. Such practices form part of the “healthy country, health people” concept that is traditionally relied upon by Indigenous peoples. Possible health and wider private good and public good social benefits are shown to occur across multiple disciplines and jurisdictions with the possibility of substantial economies. General principles in the application of nonmedical primary-preventative health activities are developed through consideration of the experience of Afboriginal people participation in traditional caring-for-country.

Original languageEnglish
Article number400
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic disease pandemic
  • Environmental benefit
  • Indigenous
  • Noncommunicable disease
  • Psychosocial stressors
  • Social benefit

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