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August 24, 2018
Health sector calls politicians to #standwithcommunityhealth

Eighteen-year-old Jorge doesn’t know where he would be today, had it not been for the care and support provided to him five years ago by his local community health service.

‘I was 13 and living in a family violence refuge with my mum and younger brother and, to make matters worse, I was getting really badly bullied at school.

‘I was really angry and confused and not sure how to deal with it – my thoughts often went to hurting others or to hurting myself.’

Enter Nexus Primary Health, 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.

Nexus Chief Executive Suzanne Miller 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 Ms Miller.

Community Health provides crucial services to our communities – Nexus provides a range of services including Allied Health, Community Support, Health Promotion & Community Engagement, Medical & Nursing and Mental Health & Wellbeing. Click here to find out more about the services at Nexus.

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.

Click here for more information about the #standwithcommunityhealth campaign and to make your pledge.

For more information contact: Zhoe Jess, Media & Communications Manager at the VHA on 0400 952 120 or zhoe.jess@vha.org.au

 


Categories: Community Engagement
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