Health Policy

PRINCIPLES

1. Health is a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing, not just the absence of disease or infirmity.

2. Victorians should have world's best practice in health care and in quality of health facilities.

3. Government is responsible for funding universal, timely health care for all Victorians and for ensuring equality of access regardless of ability to pay.

4. Health funding should be prioritised based on need, not on political expediency.

5. The promotion of health and prevention of illness and injury must be high priorities and consistently well-funded.

6. Government should lead in the provision of public preventative health by creating healthy environments and making healthy choices reasonable and practical.

7. Investment in health research, innovation and continuous improvement is vital.

8. All health care must be based on the best available evidence and subject to ongoing evaluation for cost-effectiveness.

9. An effective health care system is dependent upon a skilled, well-resourced workforce.

10. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should have health outcomes and life expectancy equal to other Australians.

11. Avoidable differences in health outcomes between different groups, whether defined by race, gender, income, sexuality, or geography, are unjust and must be eliminated.

12. The response to drug abuse is best addressed within a health and social framework. A harm minimisation approach is the most appropriate way to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of drug use for the individual user and the community.

13. All Victorians with substance dependence should have access to a range of well-funded treatment and recovery services.

14. People have the right to be the main driver of their health care planning and decision making.

15. A person with a terminal illness with symptoms that cannot be relieved by other means has the right to request medical intervention to end his or her life.

16. The criminal response has failed to stop illicit drug use and causes more harm than good.

17. Active and passive consumption of tobacco smoke is dangerous to health and a burden of disease and cost to the community. It is incumbent on Government to facilitate a reduction in consumption and further limit the promotion of tobacco.

AIMS

Population Health

1. A holistic approach to health and well-being that is focused on:

  • a. promoting positive health and lifestyles;
  • b. preventative approaches to managing chronic disease and reducing ill-health and avoidable hospital admissions; and
  • c. improving quality of life.

2. An integrated, whole-of-government approach to improving population health. Government departments and local government councils should cooperate and coordinate on both (a) the development, implementation and evaluation of the public health plans and (b) the public health impacts outcomes across all activities.

3. A Victorian health and wellbeing strategy that identifies and addresses systemic barriers to health and wellbeing.

4. The identification and implementation of measures to reduce the promotion of alcohol and processed food and drinks to children.

5. Better emergency management and adaptation planning to prepare for and respond to the health risks posed by climate change.

6. All state government workplaces, including schools, to promote healthy food choices and physical activity.

7. All major industrial and infrastructure developments to require comprehensive and independent public health impact assessments, and health and wellbeing objectives to be incorporated into our planning legislation.

8. Targeted investment in organisations developed and controlled by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

9. Increased vaccination coverage to prevent outbreaks of all vaccine preventable diseases.

10. Increased awareness of and compliance with recommended rates of individual health and cancer screening checks.

Health Services

11. A well-funded public health system, delivering high quality and safe care, which everyone can access in a timely way.

12. Comprehensive forward planning for Victoria's health care needs.

13. Greater priority for primary health care investment, including more outpatient services provided in cost-effective community health-care settings.

14. Reduced wait lists for elective surgery through more investment and better preventative care.

15. Reduced emergency department and outpatient waiting times by increasing the number and efficiency of inpatient and outpatient services.

16. Co-location and improved access to affordable allied health, health screening, GPs and specialist services in areas of need, using community health centres where possible.

17. Fully electronic medical records that can be edited in real time and improved co-ordination and integration between all state, federal and private health services, using shared health records such as the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record. Privacy and security issues need to be effectively managed.

18. Long-term planning and refined practices to reduce waste, duplication and increasingly expensive and sometimes unnecessary investigations and treatments within our hospital system.

19. Improved access to health professionals in areas of greatest need such as rural Victoria and outer metropolitan areas.

20. Fully funded rural health services to provide primary care in remote regions of the state.

21. Increased awareness of health complaint procedures for all public and private health services in Victoria and improved regulation of currently unregulated health practitioners and counsellors not registered by AHPRA.

22. Effective home-based health care support being fully available where medically appropriate.

23. A high standard of work place conditions for health industry workers with excellent occupational health and safety.

24. Greater planning and investment in women’s sexual health, widely available free contraception services and safe, legal and affordable pregnancy termination.

25. Increased availability of a range of public birthing services giving women a greater choice in where they deliver and in their model of antenatal care.

26. Increased post-natal and early childhood programs and services that are inclusive of all members of the family.

27. All Victorians to have ready access to well-resourced palliative care services in both home and institutional settings.

28. Better awareness and use of Advanced Care Directives.

29. Measures to improve health literacy to empower more people to benefit from services and manage their own health.

30. Continuous improvement in health care through innovation and adoption of research, with particular attention to cost-effectiveness research, enabling us to help more people with limited resources.

31. Better access to allied health care and dental health care.

32. More affordable ambulance services for people on low incomes.

33. Improved resources for carers, including respite and support services.

Substance Abuse and Dependency

34. Measures such as education, counselling and treatment to be the first response for people with an addiction to drugs.

35. Increased support for programs that address risk factors for substance abuse, such as family violence, sexual assault, and trauma.

36. Drug and alcohol treatment programs that address the barriers faced by people of different genders in accessing services, including greater legal, financial and social supports for women who are pregnant or care for children.

37. Drug courts in all regions of Victoria and adequate funding of diversion programs as a sentencing alternative for people convicted of possessing small quantities of drugs for personal use or committing non-violent crimes to support a personal addiction to drugs.

38. Introduction of real time prescription monitoring to reduce pharmaceutical related drug abuse and harm.

39. Improved access to practical harm minimisation measures such as drug substitution therapies, supervised injecting rooms and increasing the number of needle exchange programs in the community and prisons.

40. Publicly funded drug and alcohol withdrawal and rehabilitation services to be available within a reasonable timeframe and closely integrated with housing and employment services.

41. Greater investment in information and education programs to enable informed debate and effective responses to the harms of all drugs, including prescription, non-prescription, legal and illegal drugs.

42. Specific treatment programs that are funded and tailored to address individual, gender, sexuality, cultural or disability barriers to access.

43. A phasing out of:

  • a. alcohol advertising on public transport and outdoor billboards and signs;
  • b. sponsorship of community sporting organisations and venues by alcohol companies; and
  • c. all alcohol advertising directed at young people.

44. Improved enforcement of server and licensed venue responsibility legislation.

45. A review of alcohol availability, and liquor licensing and its enforcement in order to reduce alcohol over-consumption and alcohol related violence.

46. Strengthened smoking laws to decrease the use and take up of smoking.

47. Improved support to help Victorians quit smoking.

48. Support for the decriminalisation and regulation of medical cannabis.

49. Increasing protected funding for population health measures, regardless of whether any resulting cost savings go to the state or federal health budgets.

50. A ban on political donations from the tobacco, alcohol, and pharmaceutical industries and a ban on pharmaceutical marketing in public hospitals, universities and other public institutions.

51. A reduction in harmful substance use, including smoking rates that are close to zero and alcohol consumption patterns that are within the limits recommended by public health experts.

52. Improved access to residential and outpatient drug and alcohol treatment programs so that waiting times for services are acceptable.

53. The removal of legal barriers to both research and the evidence-based management of substance abuse and other medical conditions, where considered necessary by medical researchers or health services.

54. Greater attention to mental health issues for people with drug and alcohol problems with sufficient funding to allow for expanded mental health programs.

55. A ban on financial donations from the tobacco and alcohol industries to political candidates and parties.

56. Increase in flexible specialist services and professional development programs for community and health sector workers, to ensure such services accommodate the diversity of people who have substance dependence or abuse issues.

57. Provision of adequate support for families of people undergoing drug treatment.

58. Increase in funding for programs for drug dependent persons released from prison, to assist their wellbeing and re-integration into society.

 

Health Policy as amended by State Council on 17th May 2018.