Health

Everyone has the right to timely, quality health care. The fairest, most efficient way to achieve this is a well-resourced public system.

Principles

The Australian Greens believe that:

  1. Access to quality health care is a basic human right.
  2. Individual and population health outcomes are strongly influenced by the social, economic and environmental conditions in which people live and work.
  3. Human health has a direct relationship with the quality of the environment, and a healthy natural environment underpins a healthy society.
  4. Ensuring all people have access to the resources and opportunities essential for good health and wellbeing should be one of the most important priorities of all Australian governments.
  5. Preventive approaches, measures to alleviate social disadvantage, and universal access to an effective health care system are necessary to address inequities in health outcomes.
  6. An effective health system must be based on primary health care and preventive health care measures — such as health promotion, disease prevention, risk reduction and early intervention — in order to manage chronic disease, reduce ill-health and avoidable hospital admissions.
  7. The publicly-funded health system is the most equitable and efficient way to resource and deliver health services.
  8. The entirety of the health system should be focused on the needs of people, and health service users have the right to participate in the planning of the delivery of such services.
  9. People have the right to participate individually and collectively in the planning and implementation of their health care.
  10. It is the right of every adult of sound mind experiencing a terminal or degenerative illness to be able to plan with the assistance of a physician for the end of their life in a way that is dignified, peaceful and at a time of their choosing.
  11. An effective health care system is dependent upon a skilled, well-resourced workforce.
  12. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should have health outcomes and life expectancy equal to other Australians.

Aims

The Australian Greens want:

  1. Medicare to remain a universal, publicly funded health insurance system for all Australians, funded from progressive taxation.
  2. Universal access to publicly funded primary dental care.
  3. Primary care and prevention services that provide first contact, community-based care.
  4. Adequate access to bulk-billing GPs across Australia and greater access to health care delivered in locally run community health centres.
  5. Health funding that supports preventive care and health promotion, multidisciplinary teams and networks, and co-located services.
  6. Adequately funded mental health services, including adequately resourced services for the reduction and early detection of mental illness and suicide, and hospital and community-based assessment and support services.
  7. Health planning that meets the increasing demands resulting from climate change and pandemics and includes a systematic approach to addressing the social determinants of health, shared across all areas of government.
  8. A properly resourced Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme free from political interference.
  9. The membership of regulatory bodies, such as the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, to be made up of independent scientific experts, clinically-based health care advisors and consumer representatives, in order to provide independence from undue influence.
  10. Well-funded preventive health programs which include appropriate screening activities and healthy lifestyle education.
  11. The promotion of healthy choices, including a ban on junk food advertising at times of high children television viewing.
  12. Further restrictions on the marketing and promotion of pharmaceuticals to health professionals, including undergraduates.
  13. Accessible, culturally-appropriate and community-controlled health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that will raise their health status to a level comparable to other Australians.
  14. Measures that facilitate the training of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and migrant health professionals at the needed levels.
  15. Improved access to health professionals in rural and remote areas.
  16. Access by consumers to comprehensive provider safety and quality performance information.
  17. Access for all women to legal, free and safe pregnancy termination services, including unbiased counselling, and access for all women to a full range of birthing services.
  18. People with a terminal or degenerative illness to have the right to seek assistance from physicians to have a dignified death at a time of their choosing with appropriate safeguards, based on international best practice models.
  19. Ongoing training for medical students and professionals in the clinical needs of patients with specific gender, sexuality, disability, cultural or religious requirements.
  20. Governmental regulation of blood donor deferrals on the basis of a person’s sexual activities to be informed by scientific evidence.
  21. A comprehensive food labelling system that is strongly enforced, mandates full contents and nutritional disclosure, and allows only scientifically-verified health and nutritional claims.
  22. Expanded community-based support services and agencies to enable people with chronic mental and/or physical illnesses, and their carers, to live in and participate more fully in their communities.
  23. A comprehensive program of research into cost-effective care and prevention and a rigorous system for the assessment, approval, regulation and marketing of pharmaceuticals, therapeutic goods, medical devices and other health therapies and technologies.
  24. A more effective national approach to the prevention of work and road related accidents and provision of injury rehabilitation services.
  25. The redirection of funds from subsidising private health insurance to the public health system, including public hospitals.
  26. A consideration of the impacts on health across all aspects of government policy development.