Our advocacy work covers wide range of activities to improve the health and wellbeing of people in our communities. We focus on the underlying social and environmental conditions that affect people’s health in an effort to achieve health equity for all people. This includes addressing the systemic issues in society that lead to health inequalities.
What is advocacy
The word advocacy can mean different things. This page is about the kind of advocacy work that addresses societal issues affecting people’s health. This type of advocacy seeks to influence decision makers (like governments) about different things that affect the health of the people cohealth provides care for.
What is a ‘Client Advocate’ or ‘Health Advocate’
In health, there is also something called a ‘Client Advocate’ or a ‘Health Advocate’. It sounds similar but means something different. A client advocate is someone who helps you get the health care you need, including assistance with healthcare tasks such as making an appointment, or with filling out forms. Find out more information on how to access a client advocate.
Our advocacy work
We do many different kinds of advocacy work. Some advocacy aims to improve people’s health through the funding of new and different services, and improving access to services.
We also advocate for health equity for all people by addressing the social factors that affect their health.
What is health equity
Health equity is the idea that everyone should have the same chance to live a healthy life. It means that no one should be deprived of what they need to enjoy good health. In society, some people face more barriers than others to enjoying a healthy life. These barriers are because of social factors out of their control. Health equity is about achieving the highest level of health for everyone, no matter what barriers.
What are the ‘social determinants of health’
Health isn’t only affected by getting sick, having a disease or becoming injured or the health care you receive. There are lots of other things in life that influence your health. These include social factors such as income, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, gender, housing, food security, employment conditions, where you live, the urban environment, climate change, and experiences of stigma, discrimination and marginalisation.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the social conditions in which people are born, live and work are the single most important determinant of good health or ill health. All of these social factors are known as the ‘social determinants of health’.
Our advocacy work covers a range of social issues because they affect the health of people & communities we work with. Some examples of key issues we are involved in:
- Poverty and inequality
- Housing and homelessness
- Racism and discrimination
- Oral health
- Climate change