Category 'Health'

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Turnbull shuffles the deck

Government Affairs, Health, News, Public Affairs

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a minor re-shuffle of his ministry following the departure of Sussan Ley as Minister for Health earlier this month.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a minor re-shuffle of his ministry following the departure of Sussan Ley as Minister for Health earlier this month.

Turnbull has moved quickly to replace Ley following a revelation of misuse of her parliamentary travel allowances and ahead of the return of Federal Parliament on February 7 and what is likely to be a robust political year.

The key appointment of former Industry and Innovation Minister Greg Hunt to the high-profile Health portfolio is the biggest news of the day.

Hunt is from Victoria and is a political moderate who is close to Turnbull. He is a highly-energetic and capable minister who was previously a successful Minister for the Environment. He negotiated the repeal of the unpopular carbon tax through Federal Parliament and was instrumental in Australia signing the Paris Climate Change Agreement in 2016.

Hunt has family connections to the health portfolio. His wife was a nurse and he regularly supports fundraising and awareness-raising efforts in his electorate of Flinders for juvenile diabetes and autism. His mother was bi-polar, so he has a strong affiliation with the impact of mental health issues on families.

As a moderate, while philosophically to the left, he will need all his negotiating skills to maintain spending levels in the traditionally high cost of the public health sector in the face of the Turnbull Government’s desire to cut expenditure and reduce the country’s rising deficit.

The other main portfolio change is to appoint Senator Arthur Sinodinos to the Industry, Innovation and Science ministry formerly held by Greg Hunt. A high-profile and well connected New South Wales Senator, Sinodinos is one of Turnbull’s closest advisers and parliamentary friends.

He was instrumental in seeing Turnbull succeed to the leadership of the Liberal Party in September 2015, deposing Tony Abbott and removing several right-wing members from the Cabinet.

While some question remains over Sinodinos in relation to his fundraising activities in New South Wales politics while Treasurer of the Liberal Party (which is still subject to an ICAC review), the Prime Minister has nevertheless appointed him to an important portfolio that includes Innovation, one of the key planks of the Coalition’s election campaign in 2016.

Senator Sinodinos’ old job of Cabinet Secretary will now sit within the Prime Minister’s office as a public service not elected position. Another key ally, Senator Scott Ryan, has been promoted to Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Cabinet while Ken Wyatt, the nation’s first indigenous House of Representatives Member has been made Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health recognising two of the key public policy challenges facing the Government. Conservative Michael Sukkar has been made Assistant Minister to the Treasurer.

While Turnbull has avoided major changes to his barely six-month-old ministry, we can expect these won’t be the last as the year unfolds.

The Prime Minister’s media statement can found here

Nic Jarvis – Head of Public Affairs – Edelman Australia

nic.jarvis@edelman.com

Healthy New Horizon

General, Health

Health today is all about living life well vs trying not to be sick, with people actively integrating wellness into their daily life. And, as this trend continues on the upward trajectory it presents brands, especially health brands, with new opportunities.

Health today is all about living life well vs trying not to be sick, with people actively integrating wellness into their daily life. And, as this trend continues on the upward trajectory it presents brands, especially health brands, with new opportunities.

Brands and companies that can actively engage in their consumers’ well-being win their loyalty. The American Wellbeing Study 2015 found that 85% of consumers are more likely to buy products and services that effectively engage in their wellbeing.   Cross-generationally, consumers believe companies could be doing more for their well-being.

All of this signals a need to shift brand communications from product claims to health benefit, from functionality to inspiration. Just as consumers are taking a far more holistic approach to their health so too must brands in order to also enjoy a healthy future.

Today’s health care consumer is all about taking control of their health and wellbeing. This has resulted in a massive power shift away from the traditional health gatekeepers of medicos to the power of the individual and their community. The yelpification of health, whereby health information is now sought and found via Dr Google and online chat forums more so than in the clinic, has meant, now more than ever, consumers are equipped with information, albeit not necessarily the best information, but nonetheless they are more informed and empowered than ever before. In this world, it is all about earning their attention with meaningful, compelling dialogue that delivers to their thirst for information focused on helping them live healthier, happier lives.

A company or brand’s narrative and purpose needs to be intrinsically linked to consumers’ wellbeing, but it can’t be just stated, it needs to be lived by the brand and organisation. It needs to be consistently communicated and demonstrated by actions. It needs to be simple in its transparency. Not only are consumers looking to live healthier, longer, happier lives they are seeking simplicity in those lives. Brand narratives and messages need to be simply communicated and they, above all, need to be authentic to gain trust that will lead to engagement and, ultimately, advocacy.

Health and wellbeing are well entrenched in mainstream culture and for health brands this presents a massive opportunity to offer true purpose and value in the quest for a healthier life.

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