Wareham, Sue: Prioritising health

Sue Wareham

Prioritising health‘, Pearls and Irritations, 11 May 2020

Global military spending continues to rise. Critical health goals could be achieved for a fraction of what we spend on wars. Focussing funding on health rather than military spending, globally and in Australia, would create more jobs, healthier communities, and budgetary savings …

The lost opportunities for health from profligate military spending are vast. In July 2017, the WHO estimated the SDG Health Price Tag – the cost of achieving key health targets in the Sustainable Development Goals in 67 low- and middle-income countries. The estimated costs were an initial US$134 billion annually, increasing over time to $371 billion annually by 2030 – less than a fifth of current global military spending [$1917 billion annually] …

Australia’s military spending skyrockets, with over [A]$200 billion for military hardware planned over the decade to 2028-29, over and above the annual defence budget. While St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne had to appeal to the public for emergency funds recently for new ventilators and other supplies, no such measures are needed by the weapons industry; the funds just flow and keep flowing. The estimated lifetime cost of building and maintaining our 12 new submarines has reached a staggering [A]$225 billion.

Sue Wareham is President, Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW) and a member of the Heritage Guardians committee, which is opposed to the $498m expansion project at the Australian War Memorial.

For recent related material, see this and this by Sue Wareham and this statement by MAPW. Search also on the Honest History website using our Search engine, with terms ‘arms’ and ‘gunrunners’. This will also throw up references to funding of the Australian War Memorial by arms manufacturers.

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