The Community Action Party supports a publicly funded, accessible world-class health care system for the ACT. The Party supports the establishment of substantive and holistic preventative health programs. The Party supports local health facilities.
Even before feeling the impact of COVID-19, the ACT was confronted by a health care crisis. An ageing population and technological advancements have increased demand for health care services and placed continuing strain on hospitals and resources where under-investment (relative to population growth) has become the norm. Meanwhile, we have Australia's lowest bulk-billing rates. Our health workforce is ageing as well.
Community health care
The Party will work with communities to develop local, community-driven health and wellbeing clinics in areas of need. Based on European and Melbourne experience, the centres provide affordable: health education, community connection, volunteering, early intervention, social support, living skills, recovery, access to bulk-billing GPs and wellbeing support. They will also save money by helping to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions, allowing the hospitals to concentrate on acute cases.
The Party recognises the complex and varied health needs of the elderly and will ensure that additional resources are provided for rehabilitation support, occasional care, respite care, and palliative care. The Party will improve access to home nursing services for the aged and people with disabilities.
The Party will insist that families with young babies are better supported by improving the availability of community health nurses, including the re-instatement of home-visits for new mothers through a maternal and child health services program.
Preventative health care
The Party will seek to ensure access to:
regular preventive health checks for everyone in the community
healthy lifestyles promotion (exercise, healthy eating, sleep, stress management, sun protection, safe driving) that achieves significant behaviour change
age appropriate health education in schools and colleges (addictions, eating disorders, STDs, stress management) that achieves significant behavioural change
better convalescent, rehabilitation, and physiotherapy services, since avoiding recurrence is an important part of preventative health care
Regional health care
The Party supports improved cooperation and collaboration with the NSW Health Service. This will allow for the more efficient allocation of resources, and support ACT residents who need to access specialist care that is not available in the ACT.
Mental health care
The Party supports improved services for people with mental illness, including construction of a residential acute-care facility for children with mental illness, and respite care services to supporting carers of people with mental illness. The delivery model will be developed and evaluated in partnership with those who rely on the services and their families and carers.
Health professionals care
The Party supports the design of attractive careers and working conditions that will assist in the recruitment and retention of more health professionals in the ACT. The Party will work with the health sector to address the current imbalance between the numbers of frontline staff and administrators, as well as the chronically low morale among staff at the Canberra Hospital.