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Health Policy

Principles

The Queensland Greens believe that:

  1. Access to effective health services is a basic right and that all Queensland residents should have access to effective health services, irrespective of socioeconomic status or geographical location.
  2. Provision of publicly funded health services is the most appropriate way to ensure equitable access to health services.
  3. Health services should be able to respond to health problems in a timely fashion, based on health needs of the individual.
  4. Health services are important not only for maintaining physical health of individuals, but also contribute to community well-being.
  5. Health services should contribute to population health by contributing to preventative health programs in addition to providing clinical care.
  6. Prevention and management of chronic illness are increasingly important for both children and adults and health services should be structured to adequately address this.
  7. Preventative health strategies initiated early in an individual's life have the capacity to improve health outcomes throughout that individual's lifespan.
  8. A physically active population is a healthier population.
  9. A whole of government approach is best suited to improve health outcomes of the community, especially in the priority areas of chronic illness, child health, mental health and Indigenous Health.  
  10. Health services and provision of clinical care should be supported by the best available research evidence.
  11. Health service participation in appropriate research and evaluation is an important component of providing effective services.
  12. Funding models for health services should incorporate mechanisms to ensure that health services expand in line with population growth.
  13. A well trained and adequately resourced health workforce is essential for providing effective health services and maintaining health of Queensland residents.  
  14. All health professionals throughout the state should be able to access appropriate professional development opportunities.
  15. Competency standards of the health workforce are essential for maintaining quality of healthcare; minimum competency standards may be ascertained by either appropriate Australian training and registration procedures or thorough quality control procedures for individuals not trained in Australia.
  16. There should be greater and more effective community and health professional participation in decision making about health services.

 

Goals

The Queensland Greens want:

  1. A well resourced publicly-funded health system which can respond effectively to the health needs of an expanding population.
  2. To improve the health of the Queensland community, and redress inequities in health outcomes.
  3. To eliminate significant waiting times for hospital admission.  
  4. Effective and accessible community-based health services that complement and reduce pressure on hospital-based services.
  5. To optimise continuity of care and reduce duplication of service provision via networking of hospital-based and diverse community-based health services
  6. Health services that can effectively promote preventative health and maintenance of healthy lifestyles.
  7. To improve the function of health services by increasing the size and capacity of the health workforce  
  8. A whole of government approach to reduce obesity in both children and adults and to reduce burden of chronic illness.
  9. Increased levels of physical activity in both children and adults.  
  10. To improve health outcomes and increase resourcing within key health priority areas including child health, chronic illness, mental health and Indigenous health.
  11. To reduce the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous populations
  12. To recognize and support the contribution of carers, especially in the areas of mental health and disability services.
  13. Increased research and evaluation of health interventions and service delivery, especially for new services or clinical areas where existing research has a limited capacity to inform best practice.  
  14. Greater opportunities for community involvement in the planning and delivery of health care services at a local level.

 

Measures

The Queensland Greens will:

Services and care

  1. Ensure that changes to our hospital services are informed by the best available research evidence.
  2. Decentralise the provision of generalist healthcare throughout the state, making sure that all communities have appropriate access to general and emergency health facilities. Centralise the provision of specialist care in networks of super-specialist secondary and tertiary health facilities.
  3. Work towards a foreign aid healthcare system whereby Queensland health services are made available to foreigners who may have trouble accessing healthcare appropriate to their needs in their own area.
  4. Expand the school dental program in its scope to normalise and encourage the treatment of school students for dental problems.
  5. Fund a whole of government approach to respond to chronic illness and its risk factors, including childhood obesity.
  6. Increase investment in early childhood services, including prevention programs in key areas such as childhood obesity, chronic illness, and aggression and behavioural problems.  
  7. Increase funding and infrastructure support for development of centres of clinical excellence.  
  8. Increase funding and research for services which take pressure off hospital services, including widespread primary care services, after hours GP clinics attached to regional hospitals, telephone based health information services and e-health initiatives.
  9. In conjunction with other policy areas (Transport, Education, Urban Planning) increase funding of programs which increase long term participation in physical activity for children and adults such as active transport and walkable communities.
  10. Ensure that funding models for new services include funds specifically targeted towards research or evaluation activities to identify whether new services are meeting health goals.
  11. Increase investment in Indigenous health to develop services that target diverse health needs and minimise geographic and cultural barriers to accessing such services.   
  12. Introduce an extensive program of targeted sports scholarships to Queensland Institute of Sport for Indigenous children with QIS outreach “campuses” attached to designated schools across the state.
  13. Expand funding for carer respite programs, especially carers of individuals with disabilities or mental health problems.
  14. Expand funding for integrated models of mental health care which involve widespread community-based services, supported by adequately resourced hospital services and long term residential services.
  15. Conduct an audit of supported accommodation available to children and adults with disabilities or mental health problems; provide funding to improve the number of stable, adequately regulated accommodation services, and ensure that such services target a variety of age ranges, clinical needs and spectrum of disability.
  16. Develop appropriate accommodation options for young people currently inappropriately housed in aged care facilities.
  17. Provide adequate funding for group homes for disabled people, especially young, profoundly disabled, care in a home like setting and other home-based support, and improve capacity of such service options through better links between health, housing, social welfare and disability services.
  18. Reform legislation dealing with drug abuse in order that it is treated as a health and social concern as well as one of law and order.
  19. Create consultation systems whereby communities and health professionals can participate in decision making about health policy and planning, implementation of health services, and allocation of health resources.
  20. Introduce community boards of management for all health facilities in Queensland.

Workforce development

  1. Campaign to increase the number of Queensland university places for health professionals (doctors, nurses, allied health professionals).
  2. Provide incentives and structural support to enable health professionals to continue employment in Queensland health services, especially in under-staffed clinical or geographical areas.  Examples include: scholarships linked to continued practice in Queensland; appropriate remuneration; greater access to locums and support staff; access to professional development opportunities; and flexible, low-cost childcare.
  3. Review the capacity for health professionals to participate in a broader range of clinical activities in areas with limited access to necessary health professionals.  For example, consider pharmacist or nurse practitioners prescribing certain medications in rural areas, and negotiate suitable remuneration models in conjunction with the Federal Government.
  4. Implement accreditation standards and professional registration for complementary medicine practitioners.

 

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