Directions for South Australia – Health

Introduction

Article 25 of the United Nations Convention of Rights of People with Disabilities clearly states that:

Persons with disabilities have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability

and that governments should:

Prevent discriminatory denial of health care or health services or food or fluids on the basis of disability.

Easy access to information that is age appropriate and culturally relevant is also important in the provision of health services, especially for people with a disability who may have complex or ongoing health concerns.

It is unacceptable that patients with disability are ignored in favour of conversations taking place with an accompanying person. This happens today in South Australia, and the very people we should be able to rely upon to have the highest level of awareness of disabilities, dementia, autism and ageing, are not adequately educated, and show limited understanding. There is, all too often, a lack of respect.

Policy:

Dignity Party believe it is a fundamental right that all people are provided with easy access to age and culturally appropriate information and support regarding their physical and mental health. Dignity Party propose:

— Access to all types of health care and public health programs, including sexual and reproductive health programs, for all people including people with disabilities;

— Accessible health services and provision of appropriate services (including screening and prevention services) in a timely fashion and as close as possible to the person’s own community, including in rural and regional areas;

— Appropriate explicit, comprehensive training for all professionals and practitioners working at all levels of medicine, nursing, midwifery and allied health services to raise their awareness of the human rights, dignity, autonomy and needs of people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups;

— Appropriate training for ancillary staff working in the health care industry including reception, administration and management;

— Breaking down the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from accessing information or receiving appropriate medical support;

— Ensuring all professionals and practitioners working at all levels of medicine, nursing and other allied health services practice the highest ethical standards in their work with all people, and particularly people with disabilities, in both public and private health care settings;

— Formal procedures and protocols allowing for all people, and particularly people with disabilities, or their advocates, to report breaches of standards of quality and ethical health care services, with all such reports and complaints quickly investigated and appropriate action taken;

— Ongoing improvement in the delivery of health services to all members of our community;

— Protection of people with disabilities from discrimination in accessing health insurance, travel insurance and life insurance where these are available to all other members of the community;

— Provision of health services for the treatment of specific disabilities (e.g. early intervention, surgical procedures, services designed to minimise the effects of a disability such as physiotherapy) when appropriate and irrespective of age.

Dignity Party are committed to the above policy points, in addition to ongoing consultation with people with a disability and those working in the health sector to identify further issues and solutions.