Young health consumers applaud key budget initiatives
CHF’s Youth Health Forum (YHF) has applauded a range of Budget initiatives that address many of the concerns of young health consumers.
The YHF particularly welcomed the recognition of climate change as a health issue, adding that it was important that young voices were heard when establishing and running the National Health Sustainability and Climate Unit.
The YHF also welcomed the changes to the PBS schedule, which will make medicines more affordable, especially for young people with disability or chronic/multiple medical conditions.
Initiatives to improve the health of First Nations people and LGBTQIA+ communities were also positive, but young health consumers felt there was definitely more to be done in these areas.
In regards to mental health, YHF genuinely welcomed additional funding for Headspace, but said its services were not designed to meet the needs of young people with more acute mental health conditions.
“Our members despair that mental health services have not been extended in other areas of urgent need,” YHF spokesperson Roxx MacDonald said. These include:
- continuing the extension to 20 sessions in mental health care plans
- support for people with complex mental health needs who are too sick to be at home yet not considered high enough risk to need hospital admission
- support for young people over the age of 25 years
- greater diversity of suicide prevention initiatives and pathways
- investing in acute mental health care and crisis support
- more attention on addressing dependency on alcohol and other drugs.
YHF members are also hoping that other health measures not included in this year’s Budget will be addressed next year including:
- greater accessibility and affordability of GP services, as young people increasingly forego medical care as bulk billing practices become harder to find
- improvements in digital health, so that young people can better understand and manage their own health needs.
“YHF looks forward to more transformational change in the May Budget, especially to better integrate primary health care and make health care more accessible and affordable for young people,” Ms MacDonald said.
For further information please contact
Melissa Le Mesurier
M: 0419 533 363