CheckUP has received funding to develop and deliver resources and training to health professionals in regional, rural and remote communities in Queensland with the aim of improving access for people with a disability to mainstream health services.
For the 4.4 million Australians with an intellectual or physical disability, there are many barriers to accessing mainstream health services. These include the obvious barriers presented by the physical environment (such as building accessibility), the cost of care, a lack of health professional knowledge, patient factors (including cultural and linguistic barriers) and often lengthy waiting times. For those living in regional, rural and remote communities, these challenges are often compounded by the lack of visiting services, travel times and distances and a lack of coordinated and continuous care.
The Access for All project will be guided by an Advisory Group comprising general and allied health practitioners, specialists, disability and carer support and advocacy organisations and consumer representatives. Expressions of interest for membership will also be sought from within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse communities, both of which face additional barriers to accessing health services.
The project’s outcomes will include the development of a set of campaign resources aimed at raising awareness and suggesting practical ways to make improvements.These resources will be designed for health practitioners and aim to improve knowledge and upskill health workers about the barriers faced by people with a disability in accessing health services. This will address the need to consider a variety of communication methods, the length of appointments and the physical environment at health facilities.
For further information on the Access for All project, please contact Fran Keeble-Buckle, Statewide Clinical Governance Lead at CheckUP, on 0488 048 453.