health update

coronavirus (COVID-19)

Residents of the Flemington and North Melbourne public housing towers under hard lockdown who need assistance or support can contact the Housing Call Centre or Community Connector Program on 1800 961 054.

Find out how and where to get tested for COVID-19 at cohealth.

For general information about COVID-19 call the Victorian Government’s dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398. You can ask for an interpreter in your language.

Some appointments and health services will stop or change to reduce the risk of transmission. For more information, go to cancellations and appointments.

Policy submissions

Inquiry into Homelessness in Australia

1st April 2020

cohealth’s submission to this Parliamentary inquiry into the state of homelessness in Australia focusses on the health impacts of homelessness. We outline the barriers to accessing health care and provide recommendations as to how to overcome them. We emphasise how critically important increasing social and affordable housing is to addressing homelessness and recommend that a National Housing Strategy is developed to meet Australia’s shortfall of 500,000 social and affordable homes. We also urge an immediate increase in Jobseeker Payment.

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Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria

16th March 2020

This Parliamentary inquiry is examining the state of homelessness in Victoria. cohealth’s submission focusses on health impacts of homelessness. We outline the barriers to accessing health care and provide recommendations as to how to overcome these barriers. We emphasise the critical importance of increasing social and affordable housing to address homelessness, recommending increasing social housing by 6,000 homes per year for the next 10 years.

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Gaming machines application

3rd March 2020

An application has been made to the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation to install 60 electronic gaming machines at the proposed Mt Atkinson Hotel in Melton. cohealth objected to the application, recognising the harm caused by gambling, particularly to those who already experience disadvantage.

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Religious Discrimination Bill 2019 – second exposure draft

31st January 2020

The Attorney-General’s Department is consulting on the second draft of the Religious Discrimination Bill, before the legislation is introduced to Parliament.

This second draft continues to jeopardise the health care of many groups in the community and does nothing to allay the concerns we expressed about the first version. cohealth’s submission maintains our position that addressing discrimination against one group of people cannot be done by overriding the rights of, and increasing discrimination against, another group.

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Federal budget submission 2020-21

30th January 2020

cohealth’s submission to the Federal Government’s pre-budget process proposes an innovative model of co-location of health care, social support services and housing services to create a community hub centred on the whole person. We emphasise the critical importance of also improving the circumstances in which people live, work and age.

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Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health – draft report

23rd January 2020

Building on our initial submission, cohealth’s response to the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on Mental Health responds to some key gaps in the Draft Report. We again emphasise the importance of addressing the social determinants of mental health including poverty, racism, housing and climate change. We also advocate for greater investment in community-based mental health services, particularly those that provide recovery-oriented psychosocial support.

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Victorian budget submission 2020-21

30th December 2019

cohealth’s submission to the Victorian Government’s pre-budget process presents four proposals to realise the benefits of community-based care, particularly for those with the most complex needs:
An innovative model of co-location of health and housing services
Investment in community-based psychosocial support for people with serious mental illness
Improving the health of families with complex needs
Providing opportunities for young people and enhance social inclusion

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Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

11th October 2019

cohealth’s submission recommends that more attention needs to be paid to the needs of vulnerable groups to enable them to remain well and healthy in the community for as long as possible. In particular we recommend that: skilled navigators or advocates are available to support vulnerable customers access the system and obtain the supports they need; block funding is retained to meet the inclusion and health promotion needs of these groups; and there are improvements in language services and cultural safety.

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Religious Discrimination Bill 2019 – exposure draft

2nd October 2019

The Attorney-General Department is consulting on the exposure drafts of the Religious Freedom Bills, before the legislation is introduced to Parliament.

cohealth supports measures to eliminate discrimination in any form, including discrimination on the basis of having, or not having, religious belief. However, addressing discrimination against one group cannot be done by overriding the rights of, and increasing discrimination against, another group. We are deeply concerned that the proposed Bill will do just this, by privileging the rights of people holding religious views above those of others, particularly in the area of health care.

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