Health is affected by physical, mental, cultural, and social well-being, as well as the presence or absence of disease or impairment.
The Australian Greens believe that:
1. The publicly-funded health system is the most equitable and efficient way to resource and deliver health services, including mental health services.
2. Access to quality health care, including mental health care, is a basic human right.
3. Individual and population health outcomes are strongly influenced by the social, economic and environmental conditions in which people live and work.
4. Mental health is often overlooked, misunderstood and stigmatised in society. People who experience mental or emotional distress deserve specific support, respect and access to appropriate treatment.
5. The Australian healthcare system has a legacy of misunderstanding and stigmatising mental health issues and under-resourcing mental health services.
6. Transformative change is needed which elevates mental health care within the health system so that those with poor mental health can get the care they need.
7. Human health has a direct relationship with the quality of the environment, and a healthy natural environment underpins a healthy society.
8. The climate crisis is an existential threat to global human health and urgent action is required to avoid catastrophic health impacts.
9. 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.
10. Preventive approaches, measures to alleviate social disadvantage, and universal access to an effective health care system are necessary to address inequities in health outcomes.
11. An effective health system must be based on primary health care and preventive 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.
12. The health system should be focused on the needs of people, and health service users have the right to participate in health service planning and delivery.
13. People have the right to participate individually and collectively in the planning and implementation of their health care.
14. An effective health care system, including mental health services, is dependent upon a skilled, well-resourced workforce.
15. All barriers to accessing healthcare for disabled people should be removed.
16. 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.
17. Australian citizens and residents should have access to affordable and appropriately accredited evidence-based allied health services for the prevention and treatment of injury and illness.
18. Loneliness is a growing public health issue which should be urgently and holistically addressed.
19. All people should at all times have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe, nutritious foods that meet their dietary, cultural and religious needs for an active and healthy life.
20. Contraception, abortion and fertility services are all essential components of comprehensive reproductive health care that should be universally accessible.
21. Culturally and linguistically diverse communities should have access to care in a safe and culturally appropriate environment.
22. First Nations peoples have a right to culturally appropriate, community-controlled care and should have health outcomes and life expectancy equal to other Australians.
23. First Nations health is directly connected to the dispossession of lands through colonisation which has produced intergenerational trauma that must be recognised as a health impact .
24. First Nations people know that when Country is healthy, they are healthy; therefore, First Nations health is tied directly to their custodianship of their Country and access to their sites of significance.
25. First Nations people have an equal right to enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical, emotional, cultural, social and mental health as self-determined by them.
26. First Nations peoples have a right to First Nations local and regional groups' community-controlled care.
27. First Nations people who are incarcerated suffer higher mental health stress when they have been removed from family and country, thus access to family and support systems from community-controlled health services must be implemented.
28. The lives and health of First Nations peoples are particularly at risk in watchhouses, prisons and juvenile detention centres, and alternatives to incarceration must be developed for First Nations peoples.
29. First Nations peoples must have access to all health services without discrimination.
30. All jurisdictions' health policies must enable First Nations peoples to access and utilise their traditional medicine practitioners in all areas of health and in mainstream health services, including in mental health services.
Aims - Health
The Australian Greens want:
1. Strong action to address the social and environmental determinants of health as the first step to improving the health of everyone.
2. Medicare to remain universal and publicly funded for all Australian citizens and residents, funded from progressive taxation.
3. The impacts on health should be considered across all aspects of government policy development.
4. Systematic health planning across all levels of government to address increasing demands from environmental pressures and social inequality, including the climate crisis, increased risk of pandemics and poverty.
5. Health funding that supports preventive care and health promotion, multidisciplinary teams and networks, and co-located services.
6. 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 service users and carers.
7. Well-funded preventive health programs which include appropriate screening activities and ensure healthy choices are enabled and facilitated through measures including education.
8. The promotion of healthy choices, including a ban on the advertising of junk food and other ultra-processed foods, on media platforms and content aimed at children.
9. Greater access to primary care and prevention services delivered in locally-run community health centres or appropriate community-based settings.
10. Free and universal access to GPs across Australia.
11. Medically necessary specialist consultations, diagnostic tests and procedures to have no out-of-pocket charges.
12. The redirection of all public funds currently subsidising private health insurance, including the tax rebates, to the public health system.
13. Clear and transparent disclosure of all fees, charges, and out-of-pocket costs, including the gap between health costs and private health insurance rebates.
14. 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.
15. A well-resourced Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme free from political and commercial interference, with the supporting Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee to be comprised of independent experts, clinicians and community representatives, in order to provide independence from undue influence.
16. Robust restrictions on the marketing and promotion of pharmaceuticals to health professionals, including students.
17. A rigorous system for the assessment, approval, regulation and marketing of pharmaceuticals, therapeutic goods, medical devices and other health therapies and technologies.
18. A comprehensive program of health and medical research, including research into preventive health and primary care.
19. Universal access to publicly funded primary dental care.
20. Equality of access between metropolitan and rural, regional and remote areas to health professionals, including First Nations specific positions in mainstream health services.
21. Universal access to legal, free and safe pregnancy termination services, including non-directive counselling, and a full range of conception and birthing services for all individuals who are seeking to become pregnant or who are pregnant.
22. Nationwide access to and distribution of free menstrual products.
23. Governmental regulation of blood donor deferrals based on a person’s sexual activities to be informed by scientific evidence.
24. Ongoing comprehensive training, including anti-racism training, for healthcare professionals and students in the needs of people with specific intersex variations, gender, sexuality, disability, cultural or religious requirements.
25. A more effective national approach to the prevention of work and road related accidents and provision of injury rehabilitation services.
26. 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.
27. To remove Commonwealth legislation which prevents self-governing territories from setting their own laws governing voluntary assisted dying.
28. All working people, including employees, contractors, casual workers and sole traders, to have access to paid sick leave or equivalent public compensation.
29. Urgent improvement of air and water quality with a benchmark standard of no adverse impact on human or ecological health.
30. Appropriately accredited evidence-based allied health services to be available for the prevention and treatment of injury and illness through the public health system.
31. First Nations people must have access to community-controlled health services for First Nations peoples that will raise their health status to a level comparable to other Australians.
32. Education and training of First Nations health professionals including doctors, nurses, health workers and practitioners to be accredited via Universities, TAFEs, Colleges and other Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and be fully publicly funded at national, local and regional levels.
33. A national First Nations Suicide Prevention Strategy that fully funds First Nations services in community-controlled health services and First Nations community services that utilise the knowledge of intergenerational trauma that are First Nations designed and implemented in local and regional communities.
34. Any First Nations suicide prevention and mental health strategies to take into account the socio-psychological developmental stages of child development and family recovery in order to prevent suicide in young people in First Nations communities.
35. Specific services for First Nations women that include traditional birthing practitioners and traditional knowledges of women’s business.
36. First Nations family-led decision-making to self-determine access to birthing of children on their own country.
37. Recognition of the impacts on First Nations communities and extended communities of public health emergencies that require domestic border closures which make access to sorry business, family and country increasingly difficult.
38. Plans of action developed by governments, health departments, chief health officers and emergency services that address public health emergencies to take into account the impacts on First Nations communities.
Aims – Mental Health
The Australian Greens want:
1.To address the underlying causes of mental ill-health by seeking to address the social, economic and environmental determinants and by eliminating stigma and discrimination.
2. Universal access to free mental health services, including greater investment in services for prevention, early intervention and suicide prevention, and hospital and community-based assessment, treatment and support services.
3. Person-centred and recovery-focused mental healthcare and psychosocial support with access to a range of meaningful, appropriate and accessible services.
4. Genuine co-design processes to be prioritised in the design and delivery of mental health and suicide prevention services allowing the voices of those with lived experiences and their carers to be heard, particularly in First Nations communities and rural, regional and remote areas.
5. A re-balancing of health services including mental health services to increase emphasis on prevention, early intervention, treatment and support services within community.
6. Equitable access to effective and quality health services including mental health services regardless of geographic barriers, disabilities or cultural differences.
7. A multi-disciplinary national strategy addressing the risk factors of suicide and suicidal ideation, along with after care for survivors and families, and with a target of achieving zero suicides.
8. Greater investment in high quality, accessible aftercare, including immediate aftercare, for people who have tried to suicide and for ongoing services supporting people impacted by suicide.
9. A needs-based system of federal funding that ensures the delivery of prevention, treatment and support services can be sustained in communities for the long-term, including with comprehensive mental health services funded by Medicare.
10. Increased investment into the research, development and evaluation of innovative mental health treatment and service delivery, particularly for higher risk communities and population cohorts, to be undertaken in partnership with service users.
11. Greater investment in skills development for health workers to address mental health and suicide prevention including peer workers, carers, volunteers, community workers, clinicians and lived experience educators.
12. High quality, comprehensive and individualised services and support for young people with mental ill-health, including specialist career counselling and mental health care.
13. Improved deidentified data collection for mental health and data access processes, including through regular national health surveys, to provide timely, reliable data on factors such as diagnoses and risk.
14. Workplaces to provide mandatory regular accredited mental health first aid training to employees.
(Health including Mental Health Policy as amended by National Conference May 2021.)