Health includes a person’s physical, mental, cultural, and social well-being, as well as the absence of disease or impairment. It is strongly influenced by social determinants such as the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. These conditions are shaped by inequality, money, power and resources.
The NT Greens believe:
- Fair, equitable, and universal access to quality health services is a basic human right.
- A universal single-payer healthcare system produces the best health outcomes for all people with the lowest overall economic burden.
- Climate change and environmental pollution adversely impacts public health, including mental health.
- Human health has a direct relationship with the quality of the environment and a healthy natural environment underpins the health of citizens in society.
- An effective healthcare system must be person-centred and provide support across primary health care, preventive health care, early intervention and acute and chronic health concerns.
- Health outcomes are strongly influenced by the social and economic conditions in which people live and work. The socio-economic aspects of health must be considered in government policies and decision-making across all portfolios.
- Access to free primary and preventive health care is vital and people should be encouraged and able to interact with health services before they become unwell.
First Nations health
- The increased rates of illness amongst First Nations communities is a lasting impact from colonisation. First Nations justice leads to improvements in the health of communities.
- First Nations people have a right to self-determined, culturally appropriate, community-controlled care in language and this is vital to attain the highest standard of health.
- First Nations people know that when Country is healthy, people are healthy; therefore, First Nations health is tied directly to custodianship of Country and access to sites of significance.
- First Nations people who have been directly or indirectly removed from family and Country suffer worse physical and mental health, and must be supported to remain on Country where possible.
- The lives and health of First Nations people are particularly at risk when in custody, such as in watchhouses, prisons and youth prisons, and deserve special attention.
Health of people in custody
- People held in custody must have the same right to access health services as all other people.
- The detention of children and adolescents almost exclusively affects young First Nations people in the NT and is extremely damaging to their health and well-being.
- Everyone has the right to access healthcare in their chosen language.
- People have a right to be supported in their health literacy, to be informed about their health concerns and options for treatment, and to lead in decision-making about their treatment.
- The quality, timeliness, and type of health care offered in remote locations should be of a high standard and, where possible, not differ substantially from care available in towns and cities.
- All barriers to accessing healthcare and participating fully in society for people with a disability should be dismantled.
- Carers play a crucial role in health care.
- Both personal and intergenerational trauma have a profound impact on peoples’ health. The healthcare system must be able to respond to the needs of people who have experiences of trauma, and all healthcare services should uphold the principles of trauma-informed care.
- All healthcare workers should be able to perform their roles in safety.
- A well-resourced public sector is an integral part of the delivery of health services. Health care relies on a strong, well-resourced public system that prioritises staff wellbeing, professional development, and appropriate wages.
Best practice services
- Healthcare should be led by best practice, the weight of evidence, and responsive to current and emerging research and innovation.
- The experience, training, and skills of all healthcare disciplines are integral to an effective healthcare system.
- The increasing prevalence of chronic disease impacts on people and their families, communities and the health system.
- Mental health is a core part of healthcare and people who experience mental or emotional distress deserve specific support, respect, and access to appropriate treatment.
- Peer support and advocacy programs are a valuable resource to assist people in their recovery.
- It is the right of every adult 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 and at a time of their choosing.
- Contraception, abortion, and fertility services are all essential components of reproductive health care and should be universally accessible and free.
- Sexual health services should be universally accessible and free.
The Greens want:
- Strong action to address the environmental and social determinants of health as the first step in improving the health of everyone.
- Impacts on health to be considered in any government decision and across all portfolios.
- A re-balancing of health services including mental health services to increase emphasis on prevention, early intervention, and treatment and support services within the community, including support for people who are diagnosed later in life to adapt to these diagnoses.
- Well-funded community health services that support preventive care, health promotion, multidisciplinary teams, and co-located services.
- Removing government subsidies for private health service delivery and redirecting these funds into the public healthcare system.
- To remove all barriers to accessing health care, including those relating to culture, finances, language, location, ability, or age.
- Well-funded preventive health programs which include appropriate screening activities and ensure healthy choices are enabled and facilitated through other policy areas and programs including education.
- Greater access to primary care and prevention services delivered in locally-run community health centres or appropriate community-based settings.
- Provide adequate healthcare funding to primary practice to eliminate the need for GP co-payments.
- Gender-affirming treatments to be made free and universally available in the public system.
- Menstrual products to be free and accessible to everyone who needs them.
First Nations health
- Health clinics in First Nations communities to be run by First Nations health organisations and controlled by First Nations people in that community.
- All remote clinics to be adequately staffed and resourced to promote the health of people living remotely.
- First Nations people should be able to access the preferred type of health care with greater autonomy, including traditional healing practices, within the public health system.
Health of people in custody
- Health services in prisons and youth prisons to be well-funded and easily accessible.
- For incarcerated First Nations people, access to family and support systems from First Nations community-controlled health services.
- All health workers receive adequate training for them to be able to practise in a culturally safe, trauma informed and appropriate way.
- A well-funded and resourced tertiary public health system with specific incentives to increase staff-retention, which recruits staff with a diversity of backgrounds, and supports the ability of people to have culturally informed care.
- Free and accessible mental health services, with capacity for long-term engagement, to be available to everyone in the NT .
- Public mental health care for people which upholds autonomy and supports recovery.
- To address the underlying causes of mental ill-health by seeking to address social, economic, and environmental determinants and by eliminating stigma and discrimination.
- High quality, comprehensive and individualised services and support for young people with mental ill-health, including specialist counselling and mental health care.
Best practice services
- Greater integration, cooperation and coordination between health services including mental health services with the informed consent of each individual, in order to streamline care pathways for people and their carers.
- Genuine co-design processes to be prioritised for the delivery of health services allowing the voices of those with lived experiences and their carers to be heard, particularly in First Nations communities and regional, rural, and remote areas.
- Disability services which are well-funded and person-centred, so that they can meet the particular needs of each person.
- Health promotion initiatives which regulate the availability and price of products which are harmful to health, such as alcohol, tobacco, and certain food products.