401195 Health Politics- Policy And Planning

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401195 Health Politics, Policy And Planning

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401195 Health Politics, Policy And Planning

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Course Code: 401195
University: Western Sydney University

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Country: Australia


Write a report which analyze the Gambling and Health Policy by PHAA in order to understand what type of policy it is, its objectives, involved interest groups.


Public health policies are a collection of regulations that helps to address some of the significant health concerns that affect the physical or mental health of individuals or communities and tries to establish a future targets in the improvisation of public health and wellbeing (Watts et al., 2015). The policies also outline the various responsibilities of various public groups such as healthcare, education and social welfare and help to inform the people about the adverse effects of the different health concerns that affect the wellbeing of the people, develop a consensus around it and thus work towards the eradication of the adverse health effects (Batterham et al., 2016). The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) developed a number of public health policies that works towards the maintenance of public health of Australia (Varghese et al., 2015). The aim of this report is to analyze the Gambling and Health Policy by PHAA in order to understand what type of policy it is, its objectives, involved interest groups, people who can be effected by the policy, the strengths and weaknesses, as well as the four perspectives of the policy (economic, political, sociological and epidemiological).
Discussion: (analysis of the PHAA policy)
Gambling and Health Policy:
What type of policy?
This is a public health policy that has been developed by the Public Health Association of Australia with the aim to increase awareness about the adverse effects of gambling on the health and wellbeing of individuals and their families, and reduce the different obstacles, such as political, cultural and economic obstacles towards the improvement of public health by reducing gambling (Okunna et al., 2016).
Who owns the policy?
The policy has been developed and owned by the Public Health Association of Australia that promotes leadership in health and welfare activities. The organization provides a forum for discussion of public health concerns faced by Australian citizens. It helps various public health workers to share their opinions and ideas that can inform the discussions. The PHAA also provides an infrastructure on public health, linking the researchers of public health to the policy makers or developers and implementers (Gainsbury et al., 2014).
What are they trying to achieve?
The aim of the Gambling and Health Policy of PHAA is to advocate a reduction in the different barriers towards the reduction of the adverse effects of gambling on public health and wellbeing, increase awareness of the impacts of gambling on individuals and their families as well as the wider society, identify strategies in the minimization of harm caused due to gambling and form collaboration with healthcare professional organizations to promote public health and welfare and reduce the adverse effects of gambling (Armstrong et al., 2018).
Interest Groups involved?
Interest groups that are involved and outlined by the policy includes the federal government, state government, territorial government, policy makers, program managers, health research organizations, public health organizations and agencies, health services delivery systems and sporting organizations. The policy mentions the involvement of advocacy groups, healthcare educationalists to help increase awareness of the adverse effects of gambling. The general public can also be considered under the special interest group for the policy (David et al., 2017).
Who stands to win or lose with this proposal?
According to studies, gambling can have significant adverse effects on the long term wellbeing of individuals and their families. The adverse effects includes financial crisis, loss of employability increase in mental stress, increased risks of mental health problems such as addiction and also increase in violence and social unrest. Thus, through the reduction of gambling, the individuals, families as well as the larger community and society stand to gain from it. Gambling however serves as a significant source of revenue to the government in the form of legalized gambling, as well as for several businesses such as casinos. Reduction in gambling would adversely affect these organizations, and thus they stand to lose most from it (Bestman et al., 2015).
What are the strengths and weaknesses in the argument?
The strengths of the argument of the policy are based on the fact that the policy considers how gambling not only affects the individual, but also their family and the community. The policy also argues that the main sources of the revenue generated from the gambling industry is from individuals most significantly affected by this addiction and are experiencing problems due to it. A weakness of the policy is that it only considers product safety and consumer protection, and does not clarify how they can be incorporated within the gambling industry, and thus increase acceptability of the policy to the public (Bacchi, 2016).
Who are they coming from?
The policy comes from the studies done by PHAA and the responsibility for the development of the policy was on PHAA’s Primary Healthcare Special Interest Group (SIG). The policy was developed in consultation with various professional healthcare providers and organizations, healthcare advocates, social care workers and policy makers, giving them a voice to share their concerns regarding how gambling was affecting the Australian public health (Maltzahn et al., 2018).
Four perspectives of the policy:
Economic Perspective of the policy:
The economic perspectives for the gambling and health policy by PHAA include the factors related to the funding of healthcare and social services that can help to overcome the adverse effects of gambling. The policy also helps to develop a framework of guidelines for the gambling industry towards the channeling a part of their revenue towards community support services. The policy helps to increase the allocative efficiency of support services that helps individuals and families afflicted by the addiction of gambling. It recommends that gambling businesses commits 20% of their annual revenue from gambling for social and community services, support public welfare organizations, develop community support funds supported by independent boards and community representatives, and provide funding to public healthcare organizations as well as to gambling interest groups and social research. The investments from the gambling businesses towards social research and public healthcare also help to increase technical efficiency of the healthcare and welfare services (Gainsbury et al., 2014).
Political Perspective of the policy:
The political perspectives of the policy includes the involvement of the government to develop a mutually agreeable code of conduct for all gambling business in Australia which would also include activities such as media advertising and ensure focus on product safety and consumer protection. The aim of inclusion of the government or political agencies in the development of the policy and a code of conduct for the gambling businesses is to ensure the framework is binding and followed by every gambling entity in Australia. The policy also helps to address the main barrier towards the reduction of adverse effects of gambling between three main groups: gambling businesses, state government and public health. The political perspective of the policy is to overcome this obstacle to address this public healthcare concern. This perspective helps to un understand the roles political agencies can play to address this problem and help to overcome the adverse effects of gambling on public wellbeing (Browne et al., 2017).
Sociological perspective of the policy:
The sociological perspective of the policy is to improve the social wellbeing and mitigate the adverse effects of gambling on the society through the involvement of multiple agencies such as healthcare, education, social and community support. The aim of the policy is to promote social equity and improved access to support services for individuals and families affected by gambling. Additionally, the policy also focuses on the minimization of harm through better product safety and consumer protection. It can be said that the policy supports the development of the wellbeing of the community through better engagement of community members, develop independence from gambling industries for the governments and promote active involvement of the gambling businesses in the local communities. Thus by supporting those individuals and families afflicted by gambling, an overall community and social development can be attained (Thomas et al., 2017)
Epidemiological perspective of the policy:
The epidemiological perspectives for this policy are developed around the epidemiological differences in the effects of gambling in the Australian population. According to PHAA, some of the significant concerns related to gambling includes a) the particularly adverse effects of gambling on vulnerable groups in society, such as the low income groups b) increase in gambling among under-age people c) increase in gambling among the indigenous Australian population and d) increased risks of violence due to gambling in several communities. These perspectives aims to overcome the epidemiological gaps to achieve better social and community health by addressing the problems of gambling and increasing responsibility of gambling businesses and gamblers (Kolandai-Matchett et al., 2015).
Public health policy is guidance framework that helps public health organizations, social support and community health organizations to support eh government towards the improvement of public health and welfare. The PHAA is a public health organization that gives leadership directions to help and improve public health across Australia. The Gambling and Health policy addresses the adverse effects of gambling on individuals, their families and the community health and wellbeing. The policy recommends the gambling organizations to increase their responsibility to the communities and societies through increased funding and support and develop safety of the product and protection of customers in their marketing activities. The policy provides four vital perspectives, an economic perspective on how the community wellbeing can be developed through better funding from gambling businesses, political perspective of the involvement of political agencies for the implementation and enforcement of the policy, sociological perspective of ensuring social equity and epidemiological perspective of bridging the health gap between the different communities in Australia due to gambling.
Armstrong, A. R., Thomas, A., & Abbott, M. (2018). Gambling participation, expenditure and risk of harm in Australia, 1997–1998 and 2010–2011. Journal of gambling studies, 34(1), 255-274.
Bacchi, C. (2016). Problematizations in health policy: questioning how “problems” are constituted in policies. SAGE Open, 6(2), 2158244016653986.
Batterham, R. W., Hawkins, M., Collins, P. A., Buchbinder, R., & Osborne, R. H. (2016). Health literacy: applying current concepts to improve health services and reduce health inequalities. Public Health, 132, 3-12.
Bestman, A., Thomas, S. L., Randle, M., & Thomas, S. D. (2015). Children’s implicit recall of junk food, alcohol and gambling sponsorship in Australian sport. BMC public health, 15(1), 1022.
Browne, M., Rawat, V., Greer, N., Langham, E., Rockloff, M., & Hanley, C. (2017). What is the harm? Applying a public health methodology to measure the impact of gambling problems and harm on quality of life. Journal of Gambling Issues, (36).
David, J. L., Thomas, S. L., Randle, M., Bowe, S. J., & Daube, M. (2017). A comparative content analysis of media reporting of sports betting in Australia: lessons for public health media advocacy approaches. BMC public health, 17(1), 878.
Gainsbury, S. M., Blankers, M., Wilkinson, C., Schelleman-Offermans, K., & Cousijn, J. (2014). Recommendations for international gambling harm-minimisation guidelines: Comparison with effective public health policy. Journal of Gambling Studies, 30(4), 771-788.
Gainsbury, S. M., Russell, A., Hing, N., Wood, R., Lubman, D. I., & Blaszczynski, A. (2014). The prevalence and determinants of problem gambling in Australia: Assessing the impact of interactive gambling and new technologies. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28(3), 769.
Kolandai-Matchett, K., Bellringer, M., Landon, J., Mundy-McPherson, S., Abbott, M., & Bailey, M. (2015). Evaluation of problem gambling interventions and public health services: a review of literature. Report for the Ministry of Health. Auckland: Auckland University of Technology, Gambling and Addictions Research Centre.
Maltzahn, K., Vaughan, R., Griffin, T., Thomas, D., Stephens, R., Whiteside, M., & Maclean, S. (2018). Pleasures and Risks Associated with Bingo Playing in an Australian Aboriginal Community: Lessons for Policy and Intervention. Journal of gambling studies, 1-18.
Okunna, N. C., Rodriguez-Monguio, R., Smelson, D. A., & Volberg, R. A. (2016). An evaluation of substance abuse, mental health disorders, and gambling correlations: an opportunity for early public health interventions. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 14(4), 618-633.
Thomas, S. L., Randle, M., Bestman, A., Pitt, H., Bowe, S. J., Cowlishaw, S., & Daube, M. (2017). Public attitudes towards gambling product harm and harm reduction strategies: an online study of 16–88 year olds in Victoria, Australia. Harm reduction journal, 14(1), 49.
Varghese, L., Nissen, M., Olivieri, A., & Curran, D. (2015, June). Public health perspective of phase III results of an investigational Herpes Zoster vaccine. In Public Health Association of Australia-Communicable Disease Control Conference.
Watts, N., Adger, W. N., Agnolucci, P., Blackstock, J., Byass, P., Cai, W., … & Cox, P. M. (2015). Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health. The Lancet, 386(10006), 1861-1914.

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