Health services in Queensland

Latest News

  • Health Services Inquiry findings report published

    The Health Services Inquiry report was published 8 April 2022 and is now available on the Queensland Parliamentary website.

    COTA Queensland looks forward to reviewing the Health and Environment Committee's report and providing our response through our Health Services Hub in April/May 2022.

  • COTA Queensland contributes to the Health Services Inquiry Hearing

    COTA Queensland was recently invited by the Health and Environment Committee to contribute to the Hearing for 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 our original submission we put forward our vision for an integrated health system throughout the lifespan that places people at the centre of care.

    At the Hearing, COTA Queensland commented on several issues (as raised by the Committee) such as palliative care, GP availability and accessibility, vaccination roll out (and elements of elder abuse), and a person-centred approach to health.

    COTA Queensland was pleased with the investment that had been made in palliative care in recent budgets; however, further investment was required, which would not only take pressure off the public health system (including hospital beds), but importantly, would enable people to die well and in their own homes.

    We highlighted the lack of availability of GPs in residential aged care facilities, using examples of when people struggled to connect to GP services on behalf of their loved ones who were in residential aged care.

    We also drew attention to the current roll out of the booster vaccinations and how this echoed the initial slow roll out of the vaccinations last year. In some instances, this linked back to (potential) elder abuse, where people in residential aged care have not been vaccinated or fully vaccinated, and some of these decisions were not made by the individual themselves, but by their family. This places the spotlight on the importance of accurate and up to date health information and the role of Enduring Power of Attorneys (EPoAs) in relation to an individual’s health and wellbeing.

    We also spoke about a person-centred approach to health care and making it the norm. We need to encourage older adults to continue to be well informed and identify solutions and work in a partnership with their health professional.

    Thank you for your contributions to the Health Services Inquiry Hub.

    You can view the COTA Queensland Hearing session or read the transcript of the Hearing at the Queensland Parliamentary website.

    We look forward to sharing the findings from the Inquiry report, which is due to be released 31 March 2022.

  • COTA Queensland Health Services Inquiry submission published

    The COTA Queensland submission for the 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 is now published on the Queensland Parliamentary website.

    We would like to thank everyone for their time in sharing their experiences, feedback and insights for this submission.

    COTA Queensland along with other organisations, individuals, local councils, relevant health unions, commissions, and services, have contributed their insights, local knowledge and feedback on the accessibility and availability of health services in Queensland. These submissions can be viewed on the Queensland Parliamentary website.

  • COTA Queensland’s vision for an integrated health system throughout the lifespan

    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.[1]

    [1] Recommendations 8 – 9 have been adopted from COTA Queensland. 2021. 2022/23 State Budget Submission [draft submission].