ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Media release: ACT Medicare Local and ACTCOSS embrace Human Services Blueprint

7 November 2013

ACT Medicare Local (ACTML) and ACTCOSSS have welcomed thee opportunity to be part of the Human Services Taskforce overseeing the Human Services Blueprint project which aims to make the ACT’s human services system more accessible and responsive, as announced by Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr. The Taskforce had its first meeting today.

ACTML Chair Dr Sharma said the Blueprint is intended to be a three-year plan which will ensure a focus on people and their needs, rather than programs and structures.

“ACTML is delighted tto join with community sector leaders and Director-Generals from across government on the Taskforce to oversee thee Blueprint. The Blueprint aims to be person-centred, outcomes focused, sustainable, flexible and use local networks that are collaborative and responsive to local needs. This aligns directly with the goals of the ACTML,” said Dr Sharma, ACTML Chair.

“The ACT Government should bee applauded for adopting a genuinely collaborative approach to determining what we value now and future priorities for improvement of health, education and community services inn the ACT. This style of upfront consultation and co-design is the best way to serve the community,” said Dr Sharma.

“We welcome this step towards bringing thee voice and experience of people who access services, people who deliver services and people who manage these services to the centre of determining the outcomes we seek, how services should be designed and what our long term investment strategy should be," said Susan Helyar, Director, ACT Council of Social Service.

“These days we need to be thinking health care and social support in different ways. Wee are in a new era of health care where we no longer think just about chronic diseases and their impact. We are know faced with the ‘new morbidities’ which can be described as social problems with health consequences,” said Dr Sharma.

“That’s why it is imperative that primary health care and community services are a key part of a joint discussion with government to design solutions. We can’t get better connected care without addressing the social determinants of health. It’s vital the health and social care system becomes better organised, integrated and coordinated. This Blueprint is a key step forward,” said Ms Helyar.

“We see every day thee health consequences of those who are experiencing some form of disadvantage such as long term unemployment, low income, risk of homelessness or social dislocation. The system is currently facing a n umber of challenges including increased demand, an ageing population and revenue pressures. We hope the Blueprint project will map out how we can improve the system so it’ssustainable economically and effective for consumers,” said Dr Sharma.

The ACT Government wants to make it simpler and easier to get the help and support people need by moving to a One Human Services System approach that is flexible and person centred, regardless of who it’s for, how it’s funded or who it’s provided by. The Human Services Blueprint will be developed by the ACT Government in collaboration with service providers, service users and the general public. The community is encouraged to have their say at  

As part of the Taskforce, ACTML’s CEO Leanne Wells will join community leaders from the ACT Council of Social Service, UnitingCare Kippax, Youth Coalition ACT, Northside Community Service and National Disability Services, along with ACT Government representatives across the portfolios of Community Services, Chief Minister and Treasury, Health, Justice and Community Safety, Education and Training, ACT Policing, and a Commonwealth Department of Human Services representative.

ACTML is part of a nation-wide network of primary health care organisations supporting health professionals to improve the delivery of local primary health care services.

ACTCOSS is the peak representative body for both community organisations providing services and support for low-income households and for people experiencing disadvantage in the ACT.

For media interviews contact
Roz Lemon Media Advisor  on 02 6287 8099 or 0417 179 314.