Wednesday 15 August 2018

healthAbility is one of 29 registered community health services across Victoria that deliver comprehensive ‘wrap-around’ health services to some of the state’s most disadvantaged people.

Accessible to all Victorians, the state’s community health services deliver primary health, human services and community-based support that meet local community need including localised responses to social and health issues.

Today, community health services across the state are launching ‘We stand with community health’ a campaign calling on all political parties to take action to leverage and support community health for the benefit of communities and the broader health system.

Chief Executive Ronda Jacobs of healthAbility says that community health plays a crucial role in plugging gaps in the health system and keeping people out of overburdened hospital emergency departments.

‘With a highly skilled health workforce and existing ties to the Victorian Government, community health is well placed to release even more pressure from public hospitals.

‘Unfortunately, these opportunities have not been taken, and the platform is gradually being weakened by enforced competition and funding cuts, and now is the time to act and leverage this unique platform to the benefit of all Victorians,’ says Ronda.

Community health provides crucial services to our communities ranging from allied health services, to mental health programs, public dental, youth support services, planned activity groups, health and wellbeing programs and case management.

Chief Executive of the Victorian Healthcare Association, Tom Symondson, says today community health is calling on politicians to pledge their support for a number of actions and use this opportunity to take people out of emergency departments and off outpatient waitlists.

‘What we call for today is for politicians to pledge to support a number of very achievable actions such as investment in hospital diversion projects, a dedicated infrastructure fund and funding that keeps pace with an ever-increasing demand so these services can continue their important role in community.

Mr Symondson says that government commitment to these ‘asks’ would enable community health services to provide an even stronger health safety net for vulnerable Victorians, such as those who are experiencing family violence and those who can’t get the help they need anywhere else.

For campaign details and to make the pledge go to: www.standwithcommunityhealth.org.au

Join the conversation on social media with: #standwithcommunityhealth