Media releases

Media releases and statements by Rachel Stephen-Smith

Supporting Canberra’s NGOs to deliver healthcare services

May 06, 2020

Supporting Canberra’s NGOs to deliver healthcare services

The ACT Government has allocated $1.7 million to support a range of non-government organisations (NGOs) in the health sector as we continue to respond to COVID-19. This is in addition to the significant $4.5 million mental health package announced earlier today.

The first economic survival package announced by the Chief Minister in March identified funding to support the community sector and vulnerable Canberrans. Allocation of this funding for health NGOs has involved close collaboration with the sector and assessment of demand for services and opportunities to do things differently.

“The community sector plays a key role in delivering health services and supporting Canberrans every day of the year,” said Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith.

“As COVID-19 continues to unfold, we are seeing a higher demand for these services and a need for many NGOs to adjust their service delivery models. I want to thank the many organisations who are continuing to provide essential services across our community and finding new ways to connect with consumers.

“This funding will contribute to the sustainability of these organisations; support the people they work with and strengthen efforts to ensure services continue to be available.

“The additional funding and support provided will ensure Canberrans continue to have access to the healthcare and support they rely on,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

More than 40 NGOs ranging from alcohol and drug services to palliative care will share $1.3 million in project or program funding. This includes:

Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy receiving $25,000 to support staff to provide services remotely and respond to client isolation and changing patterns of drug use.

Palliative Care ACT receiving $50,000 to support training of volunteers in virtual technology to support clients in connecting with family, friends and healthcare support services.

Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT receiving $100,000 to support its activities in a time of reduced income from chargeable services and to incorporate telehealth.

An additional $200,000 has been identified to provide flexible funding to support alcohol and other drug services to respond to demand pressures or to innovate in the way their essential services are delivered.

In recognition of the challenges presented by the shift to telehealth and reduced access to healthcare services, $200,000 has also been allocated to Carers ACT to work with the Health Care Consumers’ Association, ACT Health Directorate, Canberra Health Services and relevant NGOs to support individuals and families to access telehealth services.

For more information on COVID-19 in the ACT:  www.covid19.act.gov.au

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