Policy submissions

We create impact through a powerful combination of research and evaluation including advocacy and partnership with consumers, communities and other stakeholders.

cohealth’s policy stream develops both responsive and pro-active statements and strategies to represent and promote our position on key areas of policy and social debate.

Our policy function coordinates the development of submissions and other documents in response to relevant opportunities in the policy environment.

Productivity Commission inquiry into NDIS costs – Position Paper

12th July 2017

This Position Paper seeks further input to the NDIS costs Inquiry. We re-iterate comments we made to the earlier Issues Paper, focusing on the impact on people with a mental health condition.
While supporting the NDIS philosophy of greater choice and control, we again express our concern that the pricing structure is not sufficient to effectively meet the needs of people with a psychosocial disability.
• We support recommendations for the need for improvements in the planning process and for greater government clarity about services that will provided outside the NDIS.
• We continue to argue that the NDIS needs to ensure it can effectively meet the needs of people with complex needs, through maintaining a skilled workforce and providing funding to services to work with particular groups of participants.

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Legal and Social Issues Committee’s Inquiry into the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Pilot Medically Supervised Injecting Centre) Bill 2017

13th April 2017

Following the Coroner’s inquest into the death of Ms A in Richmond, the Victorian government established an inquiry into examine the recommendation that a Supervised Injecting Facility be established in North Richmond.

cohealth’s submission strongly supports the establishment of such a facility, and argues that they should be piloted at a range of ‘hot spots’. Health and social support services should be provided at these facilities, providing an holistic approach. The evidence is clear that Supervised Injecting Facilities save lives and reduce other harms from the use of drugs. It is time that Victoria takes the steps to introduce harm reducing and life saving strategies.

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Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill Discussion Paper

10th April 2017

The Victorian government plans to introduce legislation later in 2017 to legalise voluntary assisted dying for terminally ill people in the state.

cohealth made a submission in response to the Discussion Paper, supporting the proposal as an extension of the value we place on consumer directed care. Our submission highlights the need for implementation measures to be adequately resourced to ensure assisted dying is available to all who are eligible, regardless of income or language. We propose that support and training for medical practitioners and other clinical staff is needed, along with a sensitive community information campaign.

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cohealth submission to the productivity commission inquiry into NDIS costs

23rd March 2017

While supporting the NDIS philosophy of greater choice and control over their support this cohealth submission expresses our concern that, for people with a mental health condition, there will be a significant loss of services in Victoria for people who are ineligible for the NDIS, and that the most vulnerable and marginalised consumers will struggle to access the NDIS.
Our recommendations include that:
• the NDIS, and the funding structure for community mental health services, be adapted to better reflect the particular needs of people with psychosocial disabilities
• the price structure is reviewed to ensure that support for people with psychosocial disability is funded at a rate commensurate with the skills, expertise and continuity required for effective support.

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cohealth submission to the Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee’s Inquiry into Drug Law Reform

16th March 2017

This inquiry looks into the laws relating to illicit drug use and the misuse of prescription medication, and drug law reform practice in other jurisdictions.
Cohealth’s submission recommends that:
• the framework for drug response shift from a law and order response to one with a health focus, including decriminalisation of illicit substances
• establishing supervised injecting facility and pill testing
• reinvesting policing money into prevention, treatment and harm reduction
• developing responses to people flagged by real time prescription monitoring
• improving harm minimisation and treatment for people in the criminal justice system

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Proposed amendments to Activities (Public Amenity and Security) Local Law 2017

16th March 2017

This submission is one of more than 2500 surveys, submissions and consultations opposing the City of Melbourne’s proposed amendments to the Activities (Public Amenity and Security) Local Law 2017.
The proposed amendments would have the effect of pushing the homeless in the city out of the areas where they feel safer, and are close to services, supports and other connections.
They would not solve any problems but rather move the ‘problem’ of rough sleeping other areas.
Our submission also contends that if these amends are passed the shortage of affordable, secure housing that is the major contributor to homelessness will not be addressed.

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cohealth submission to the Victorian Parliamentary Standing Committee on Legal and Social Issues Inquiry into Youth Justice Centres in Victoria

1st February 2017

This inquiry examines a wide range of youth justice matters, including the implications of incarcerating young people.

cohealth’s submission argues that Victoria’s juvenile justice framework should be consistent with international and national human rights obligations, and respect and respond to the particular needs of young people, particularly those with backgrounds of trauma, child protection, mental illness, etc. Our recommendations to implement this include:
• implementing a justice reinvestment framework
• investing in preventative and diversionary programs
• supporting alternative justice approaches
• developing responses to the underlying causes of youth offending

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Inquiry into the provision of services under the NDIS for people with psychosocial disabilities related to a mental health condition

27th January 2017

The NDIS will transform the way services are provided to people with disabilities, including those related to a mental health condition. cohealth supports the shift to providing consumers with greater choice and control over the support they receive. This submission outlines the cohealth response to this Federal government inquiry, and our serious concerns, that:
– there will be a significant loss of services in Victoria for people who are not eligible for the NDIS
– people who are eligible for the NDIS may not receive the right level of support as the prices set by the NDIS are too low to provide quality support
– the most vulnerable and marginalised consumers will struggle to access the NDIS
We make a number of recommendations that the NDIS, and the funding structure for community mental health services, be adapted to better reflect the particular needs of people with psychosocial disabilities, and to provide more effective services to more people.

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aged care legislated review 2016

28th November 2016

This submission responds to a Federal Government review of changes made to the aged care system since 2012. The review is a legislated requirement within the Aged Care (Living Longer Living Better) Act 2013. cohealth welcomes the increased emphasis on choice and control for older people. We retain concerns about the impact of system changes on the vulnerable and diverse communities that access many of cohealth’s Commonwealth Home Support Program-funded (previously HACC) programs. The combined effect of changes is that access and equity for diverse groups is reduced and system complexity is increased; Victoria’s highly evolved approaches to system integration and care coordination are undermined; clinical assessments are shifting away from face-to-face contact with professional disciplines towards phone-based assessments with less qualified phone operators. cohealth is concerned that rather than increasing choice and control and supporting people to plan their aged care needs, many people will struggle to engage with the system until they reach a crisis point.

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