Community Health First
Gippsland Gold FM
4 April 2023
Latrobe Community Health Service has joined all 24 registered independent community health services in Victoria to call for greater recognition and funding.
Together, the services have launched Community Health First, to highlight to state and federal decision makers the critical role community health services play.
“Latrobe Community Health Service joined Community Health First because we know the key to solving our current healthcare crisis sits within our services,” Latrobe Community Health Service CEO Ben Leigh said.
“No other part of our healthcare system has the same level of community connection and ability to rapidly enact scalable responses to emerging public health issues. We ensure world-class healthcare is accessible to all, especially the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach people in our communities.
“Time and again Latrobe Community Health Service partners with state and federal government to support Gippsland communities in times of crisis – whether that be the pandemic, bushfires or floods,” Mr Leigh said.
“We are the experts when it comes to ensuring Victorians get the care they need, when and where they need it. We want to work alongside government – through adequate funding and tangible partnerships – as a critical solution to helping alleviate the pressure on our health system.”
Community Health First has four key asks of government:
1. Increase core funding to registered independent community health services by at least 20 percent;
2. Cement registered independent community health services as the "partner of choice" for primary care and community-based health initiatives;
3. Immediately prioritise fair and sustainable investment in community health infrastructure and workforce development; and
4. Recognise registered community health services in the National Health Agreement, so state government funding for community health is matched by federal investment (as it is for hospital funding).
People in Gippsland can support Community Health First here: www.communityhealthfirst.org.au