Fostering Resilience and Coping to Mitigate the Dangerous Effects of Climate Change on Mental Health.

Natalie attended the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva in 2018. She is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Ultrasound at Central Queensland University, alongside a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery degree and a Masters degree in Public Health.

Abstract

Climate change has been described as the greatest global threat of the 21stcentury. The risk it poses to human health is multifaceted and complicated. Already, the health effects of climate change are being experienced, with the impact on health projected to increase with forecasted population growth. Only now is the threat to mental health posed by climate change being raised by governments around the world. 

This paper will review the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on mental health. It will also explore the international actions dedicated to addressing the mental health impacts on climate change, focussing on investigating applicability to the Australian population. Finally, it will outline two key strategies to mitigate the potentially-dangerous effect of climate change on mental health, with a focus on psychological preparedness training and integrating mental health information into existing community programs. 

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Public Mistrust in the Digitalisation of Health Records

Judith attended the 2018 OECD Forum in Paris. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Business at the Queensland University of Technology and works part time as a Law Clerk.

Abstract

The digital economy contributes to the global economic growth and advances human wellbeing. Alongside these benefits, however, come increasing risks that impact vulnerable environments across both the public and private sector. These risks include security threats, theft, and illegal activity, but potentially the most concerning is the risk of an increased lack of trust in governments and institutions. How can the Australian government address this risk and instead utilise digital transformation to regenerate trust in its systems, in particular in e-healthcare?

This paper outlines how the Australian government can re-evaluate their current digital strategies and policies to bolster consumer trust towards Electronic Medical Records (EMR), in an age of digital security risk.  After reviewing existing practices and policy, this paper will provide recommendations to increase engagement between the Australian Government and patients, in order to achieve a fully digitalised and integrated electronic Medical Records (‘ieMR’). Additionally, this paper will explore how the Australian government can employ digital initiatives to cultivate a level of trust within EMR to help facilitate its advancement.

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Collaborative pharmacy agreements: innovative business partnerships for improved growth and better health outcomes

Samuel Keitaanpaa

Samuel Keitanpaa represented Charles Darwin University at the Y20 Summit.

Abstract

Paradoxical differences between the business of pharmacy in Australia and internationally offers the opportunity for coconstuction of programs which can be beneficial to both groups. There is the potential for pharmacies in Australia to partner with and mentor pharmacies internationally to upskill workers, improve business management skills and improve the way that international pharmacies provide primary health care. The formation of these relationships would require international partnership to address the existing issues of international intellectual property laws, trade regulations and existing health infrastructure and policies. Appropriate funding models and oversight would offer a new area for pharmacies in Australia to receive additional revenue as well as promote that ability for pharmacists to provide services outside of the fee-for-supply models. This will help meet national health policy objectives, enhance structural reform of national and international health policy as well as meet the focuses of the 2016 G20 summit.

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Give Indigenous Australian women and infants a chance at life: addressing the disparity in maternal-infant health outcomes

By Kaitlyn Krahe

Kaitlyn represented Victoria University at the 2016 OECD Forum in Paris.  

Abstract

Urged by a national public awareness campaign in 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) formally committed to “Closing the Gap” between the health outcomes of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation (FaHCSIA, 2012). Almost a decade since this agreement, significant discrepancies persist. Of particular concern and even greater urgency are the pervasive inequalities which render Australian Indigenous women twice as likely to experience severe maternal morbidity and three times more likely to die during pregnancy compared to non-Indigenous women (ABS, 2015). Similarly, infants of Indigenous descent have double the risk of dying during their first year of life (AIHW, 2014a). The onus of overcoming this entrenched cycle of endemic disadvantage, underpinned by more than two hundred years of systematic dispossession, exacerbated by decades of underinvestment and a distinct lack of accessible facilities offering culturally competent resources, compels all members of civil society, government policy makers and key stakeholders in the education, health and social support spheres to “Close the Gap”. This paper will posit strategies for improving maternal-infant health outcomes by addressing the root socioeconomic causes which give rise to inequality, better accounting for all Indigenous people in national data collection and developing culturally appropriate and inclusive healthcare using a rights-based, community focused framework.

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Financing our future: the potential of Social Impact Investment to address the growing service gap in Australian health and aged care

By Sabina Lim

Sabina represented the University of Melbourne Faculty of Business and Economics at the 2016 OECD Forum in Paris.  

Abstract

As Australia enters a new economic era defined by the end of the mining boom, the Australian government must grapple with the challenges of ‘an ageing population, a challenging budget repair task and ever-increasing expectations around social expenditure’ (Fraser, 2015). Critically, a key issue for government will be finding sustainable methods of financing to meet current and rapidly expanding obligations in health and aged care services. The need for new, innovative financing models is increasingly relevant in today’s economic setting.

Social Impact Investing (SII, or impact investing) is one field that has been gaining traction in recent years and whose potential has been recognised by bodies such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and members of the G8 Taskforce for Social Impact Investment, established in 2013. Social impact investments are made into organisations, projects or funds with the intention of generating positive social and environmental outcomes, alongside a financial return. Impact investments in the United Kingdom and United States have already demonstrated potential to address service gaps in health and aged care sectors.

With the Australian impact investing market still in its nascent stages, the government is in a unique position to play a significant role in fostering its development. Targeting health and ageing as a priority area, supporting the establishment of an independent market intermediary, breaking down regulatory barriers to investment, and providing direct leadership and engagement are all critical to harness its potential and help unlock capital in a market estimated to reach A$32 billion domestically over the next decade (Addis, McCutchan & Munro, 2015).

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