The Public Health Association of Australia has appointed former WA and NT Chief Health Officer Tarun Weeramanthri as its new president.
In his first action as president of the association, Associate Professor Weeramanthri has called on Australian governments to increase investment into prevention to 5 per cent of the health budget. He describes this investment as a necessary baseline goal.
"Prevention is better than a cure, this is the best insurance policy you could possibly take out," he said.
"Australia has done really well compared to other countries in terms of this COVID crisis ... but there's always going to be some mistake somewhere and the disease got into the community in Victoria.
"Now that we are at the end of the second wave we should be much better prepared but it requires a lot of investment.
"We need go be able to surge up our workforce quickly, we need to be able to get on top of the outbreak ... but just as importantly we meed to engage with the community really effectively.
"With public health, you always need the public on side."
Prevention is better than a cure, this is the best insurance policy.Tarun Weeramanthri
PHAA chief executive Terry Slevin said Associate Professor Weeramanthri's appointment would bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise to the PHAA.
"He has an in-depth understanding of the essential role the PHAA plays in advocating for better public health policy and building constructive relationships with policymakers to better the health of all Australians," Associate Professor Slevin said.
Associate Professor Weeramanthri is the Deputy Chair of the PathWest Board at WA Health, and an Adjunct Professor at the School of Population and Global Health at the University of Western Australia. He was the Chief Health Officer of Western Australia from 2008 to 2018, and the CHO of the Northern Territory from 2004 to 2007.