Integrated care is increasingly present in the priorities of Australia’s healthcare, from the work of our primary care services to the policy settings within government. Internationally, the movement for integrated care has recognised the impact of social needs on people’s health and has brought the integration of social assistance into healthcare within its focus. There is huge opportunity to advance this agenda in Australia, both in terms of the capacity and capability of our health, legal and human services; and more importantly, for the benefit of people’s health.
Health justice partnership is one model that brings together different services around the needs of the people who use them. These collaborations embed legal help into healthcare services and teams to improve health and wellbeing for:
- individuals through direct service provision in places that they access;
- for people and communities vulnerable to complex need by supporting integrated service responses and redesigning service systems around client needs and capability and;
- for vulnerable populations through advocacy for systemic change to policies which affect the social determinants of health.
As a national charity and centre for excellence in health justice partnership, Health Justice Australia was established in 2016 in response to the growing interest in collaboration to better meet health and legal need.
- We support the expansion and effectiveness of health justice partnerships through:
- Knowledge and its translation: developing evidence and translating that evidence into knowledge that is valued by practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and funders.
- Building capability: supporting practitioners to work collaboratively, including through brokering, mentoring and facilitating partnerships.
- Driving systems change: connecting the experience of people coming through health justice partnerships, and their practitioners,
with opportunities for lasting systems change through reforms to policy settings, service
design and funding.
Health Justice Australia looks forward to working with the International Foundation for Integrated Care (Australia) to advance a shared agenda of integrating health and social care for people with unmet needs driving their poor health outcomes.
Tessa Boyd-Caine, Chief Executive Officer, Health Justice Australia