COTA Queensland provided a submission 23 December 2021 to the Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry into the provision of primary, allied and private health care, aged care and NDIS care services and its impact on the Queensland public health system. In this submission, we outlined our vision for Queenslanders which is an integrated health system throughout the lifespan that places people at the centre of care.
This means the health system:
- Ensures equitable access, no matter a person’s diagnosis, age, location, or resources.
- Acknowledges health as interconnected to other community domains including transport, housing, and participation, and the Queensland Government encourages, tests, and embeds integrated models that connect these domains.
- There are clear and navigable pathways to services for diverse and changing needs.
- There is collaboration across Federal, State, and Local Government responsibilities including co-design with consumers to work towards an integrated system.
We include an outline of our recommendations below:
- Gain accurate insight into local community access to and availability of health services and supports, particularly in regional, rural and remote communities, and diverse cohorts which historically are under-represented or experience disadvantage (e.g., culturally and linguistically diverse; First Nations communities; inequities with housing or transport; low socio-economic background; under- and unemployment; bereaved; living on their own; experiencing elder abuse).
- Gain accurate insight into local community (including individuals, community groups, service providers, and local councils) understanding of funding responsibilities, and where they see Commonwealth and State Government gaps or strengths in their local health systems.
- Explore strengths of local government’s role (advocacy, guidance, and input) in better understanding needs in their communities e.g., idea of a regional government model.
- Consult, co-ordinate and collaborate with communities and networks on a regional response e.g., strategy or proposal to present evidence-based case to government as part of effort to explore more Commonwealth funding opportunities.
- Use of existing community resources and opportunities to expand upon the volunteer network for needs such as transport, running errands, home and yard maintenance, social connection, and similar activities.
- Increase availability of bulk billing services and messaging to GPs and health clinics regarding provision of access to primary health care services for cohorts experiencing inequities particularly in regional, rural and remote communities.
- Provide more education and information around private health and public health, and planning for future health/care needs and supports.
- The Queensland Government adopts a strong framework to ensure diverse older consumers, as partners, co-design an integrated system of care (including services, health promotion activities, information and supports); consumers oversee and plan their own care.
- The Queensland Government continues to invest in telehealth services and these are integrated into care models across Queensland Health.
- The Queensland Government increases current expenditure in areas greatly needed e.g., palliative care to match Palliative Care Queensland’s estimate of required funding.
 Recommendations 8 – 9 have been adopted from COTA Queensland. 2021. 2022/23 State Budget Submission [draft submission].