Catholic Health Australia has used its submission to a Senate Inquiry into income inequality in Australia to highlight the need for people from different socioeconomic groups to be able to access similar levels of health care. In its submission, CHA recommended that "particular attention be given to ensuring that any barriers in access in particular to health care for socioeconomically disadvantaged Australians are continuously monitored and removed such that socioeconomically disadvantaged Australians enjoy the same health care access, and health care outcomes, as the most advantaged Australians". Click here to access the submission.
Social Determinants of Health
In its submission to the Community Affairs References Committee Senate Inquiry into Australia's domestic response to the World Health Organisation's Commission on Social Determinants of Health report Closing the Gap Within a Generation, Catholic Health Australia called on the Government to implement a model for action on the social determinants of health. The model would include the development of principles by the Social Inclusion Unit, the development of a national strategy to address health inequality, the coordination of data collection by the Productivity Commission and the presentation in Parliament on the indicators for action on the social determinants of health by the Prime Minister, as well as a number of other steps.
Click here to read CHA's submission.
Click here to read CHA's response to Questions on Notice following CEO Martin Laverty's evidence given to the Committee.
An Australia-first study has found 500,000 people could avoid chronic illness, $2.3 billion in annual hospital costs could be saved, and the annual number of taxpayer-funded Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme prescriptions could be cut by 5.3 million.
The study, The Cost of Inaction on the Social Determinants of Health, reveals avoidable chronic illness costs the Federal Government $4 billion each year in welfare payments and the national economy $8 billion in lost earnings.
Click here to read the study's findings.
As the Federal Government develops its Social Inclusion Agenda, CHA has released a discussion paper prepared by Dr Patrick McArdle on the role of Catholic social justice principles within the Social Inclusion Agenda.
Click here to download the discussion paper.
Catholic Health Australia drafted a policy paper calling for a greater emphasis to be placed on addressing the social determinants of health to achieve social inclusion.
Click here to read the paper.
This report, Health Lies in Wealth - Health inequalities of Australians of working age, conclusively finds that the health of working aged Australians is affected by socio-economic status. Household income, level of education, household employment, housing tenure and social connectedness all matter when it comes to health.
Click here to download the report.