26 September 2023

Canberrans have say on city’s health services

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ACT Health is calling on Canberrans to help make health services better for people living with a disability by having their say on a new draft strategy.

Launching its draft ACT Disability Health Strategy 2023-2033, the Health Directorate said the strategy, open until 25 July, was a 10-year plan which aimed to ensure people with disability had equitable and appropriate access to healthcare in the ACT.

It said the Strategy was for people with disability to support their right to access healthcare in the ACT – free from discrimination and on equal terms with all people in the ACT; families, carers, and advocates of people with disability; and healthcare services in the ACT to help services to build capability to provide better healthcare services and responses to people with disability.

“In 2018, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported one in five people in the ACT reported as living with disability,” ACT Health said.

“The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s People with Disability in Australia 2020 report states health outcomes for people with disability are poorer than for those without disability,” it said.

“People with disability have specific needs, priorities, and perspectives based on their individual identities including their gender, age, sexuality, race, and cultural background, and can face additional barriers and inequities.”

ACT Health said the strategy set out three goals to ensure people living with disability have autonomy and their rights are respected, have access to appropriate healthcare services, and that change is achievable, measurable, and reported back to the community.

It said that under the strategy’s goals were nine guiding principles and five focus areas, including health information and literacy; service access, design, and delivery; emergency planning, preparedness, and management; workforce; and data and research.

“Action Plans will sit under the Disability Health Strategy describing the work and the commitments made by stakeholders to ensure people with disability have equitable and appropriate access to healthcare in the ACT,” the Directorate said.

“While the action plans will contain specific activities which fulfil the requirements of the three goals, nine principles, and five focus areas presented in this strategy; the plans will also have a focus on priority populations identified in current national and local legislation, policy, and research.”

ACT Health’s 22-page draft strategy can be accessed at this PS News link.

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