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In the lead up to the Victorian election, the Victorian Healthcare Association and Connect Health & Community are calling on the next government to pledge its support to community health services that meet the needs of our clients and communities.
In the ‘Stand With Community Health’ campaign we, and the state's 28 other community health services, are calling on politicians and candidates’ commitment to understand and better fund community health, and improve the services that aim to keep people healthy and out of the hospital system or care.
Victoria’s community health network delivers personalised primary health, human services and community-based support to meet local health needs, as well as targeted services for vulnerable population groups. It also provides of a range of health and human services including drug and alcohol, disability services, dental, post-acute care, home and community care, mental health services and rehabilitation.
Connect Health & Community CEO, Amanda Murphy, said community health is a little-understood asset, supporting hundreds of thousands of locals by geographic and social needs to reduce the burden on the public health system - yet funding represents just 1 percent of the total Health budget.
“Community health provides invaluable services that keep people active, engaged and independent within their communities and reduces the burden on the public health networks. Yet the thousands of dedicated specialists and community workers delivering these services though facilities across the state are run on the smell of an oily rag. With specialists and infrastructure already in place, imagine how the benefit of Community Health would increase if funding was doubled to just 2 per cent of the total Health budget,” she said.
Ms Murphy said the state election provides a chance for all Victorians to have their say in support of community health by requesting politicians commit to better supporting the vital service.
“We want to ensure that as a state, we support community health to play a stronger role in an overburdened healthcare system by leveraging our platform to prevent people going to emergency departments and reducing outpatient waitlists,” Ms Murphy said.
“We hope you will support community health services like Connect Health & Community to continue to not only meet the needs of our growing communities but play an even greater role in supporting our broader health system,” she said.
“Make your voice heard. Stand with community health, speak to your MP,” she said.
Members of the community are encouraged to talk to their local candidates and visit http://www.standwithcommunityhealth.org.au/ and http://www.standwithcommunityhealth.org.au/asks/ for more information.
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