The poorest people in our community are also the unhealthiest. On a range of health indicators, the most disadvantaged South Australians have poorer health outcomes than the most affluent. SACOSS’s health advocacy utilises a “social determinants of health” approach in linking poverty with health and wellbeing and we focus on prevention and early intervention, and access and equity issues. In 2020, SACOSS joined with the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University to publish a major stocktake of health issues in South Australia: The Heaps Unfair State: Why have health inequities increased in South Australia and how can this trend be reversed?
The COVID pandemic has provided global lessons on the importance of public health and prevention strategies, but also on the importance of health research and data and public access to health information. These issues have not always been at the centre of South Australian health policy. Further, while Australia is rightly proud of its public health system, there remain areas within the system where costs could prove prohibitive and be a barrier to service. Ambulance fees are one such area in South Australia.
In 2021, SACOSS is calling for:
- The continuation of the provision of independent health research and data analysis through an adequately resourced and reinvigorated Health Performance Council
- The extension the current Ambulance Cover concession available to pensioners to other income support recipients