Victoria’s leading community health service, cohealth, has praised the Victorian Government for its health-focussed budget, but expressed disappointment that once again community health had been overlooked.
“After more than two years of dark times for the community and our health system, we applaud the Victorian Government for recognising that a healthy community is essential for a healthy economy,” said Nicole Bartholomeusz, Chief Executive, cohealth.
“I welcome the continued investment in hospitals, emergency services, mental health and the people to run them.”
“However, strengthening the health system requires investment across all of the health sector.”
“During the pandemic, community health services like cohealth showed the benefit of our trusted relationship with communities that face barriers to health care, such as refugees and asylum seekers, the elderly, people in public housing and people experiencing homelessness.
“cohealth cared for people in the community, preventing the need for hospital care. Investment in community health can reduce hospital admissions and slash ambulance call-outs, because we bring health care to where people live, and intervene early before their health issues snowball,”
“This budget represented an opportunity to leverage the unique value of community health to make Victoria one of the healthiest places in the world.
“The community health model delivers enormous benefits to people in need and to the broader health system, and I’m disappointed that the opportunity to properly resource this vital work wasn’t recognised in this budget.
“As we focus on community repair and recovery, we must all ensure this is a recovery for every Victorian,” said Ms Bartholomeusz.
The community health model involves delivering a range of social support, medical and allied health services that are integrated and in locations that are easy to access, especially for people that may otherwise struggle to access healthcare.
The community health model works to reduce health inequity of disadvantaged populations by responding to patients’ social and environmental circumstances, such as housing, income, discrimination and language literacy.
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More information: Lanie.Harris@cohealth.org.au or 0418 552 377
About cohealth: cohealth is a not-for-profit community health organisation that provides low-cost and free local health and support services including medical, dental, allied health, mental health, aged care and counselling, and many specialist health services across Melbourne’s CBD, northern and western suburbs as well as statewide.