Health

REASON supports universally accessible, high quality primary healthcare for all Australians. In international terms, Medicare is relatively efficient and must be retained and protected. We reject US-style privatised healthcare. Good health policy should focus on prevention rather than cure, on effective regulation to prevent over-servicing and unscientific treatments, and on optimal use of new technology.

What should be done?

  • Enhance access to local GPs; retain bulk billing; explore incentives for long term care of those with chronic conditions; counteract incentives for sheer quantity over good quality.
  • Increase funding for public health measures to prevent or reduce the incidence of diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.
  • Invest in new technology to enable access to specialist medical treatment for rural and remote communities (telemedicine).
  • Support further investment in closing the gap in ATSI health outcomes.

 

Mental health

Focusing on early detection, intervention and prevention of mental health challenges results in less acute manifestations and fewer hospital admissions. Social intervention and care should begin through collaboration between service providers and the client’s support networks, focusing on general health and wellbeing. Better mental health practices – and continuity of care – will give clients more confidence to engage in education, employment and social activities rather than becoming welfare dependent.

What should be done?

  • Mental health and drug and alcohol issues often go hand in hand and must be treated in unison: establish more dual diagnosis rehabilitation facilities.
  • Promote a strong primary care system that is comfortable and easy to access, particularly for young people aged 12 to 25.
  • Provide funding incentives for mental health services to create a “soft entry” into their premises, rather than a typical clinical or hospital environment.
  • Increase funding for education and training for mental health workers to understand how they can treat and support people with early onset of mental health conditions.

Sensible drug law reform

Prohibition has failed to reduce harms associated with illicit drug use; in fact, evidence suggests prohibition increases harms. Drug misuse should be treated as a health issue, caused by a damaging mix of socio-economic and social conditions. REASON acknowledges that not all drug use is harmful.

What should be done?

  • Decriminalise currently illicit drugs, based on the Portuguese model.
  • Provide evidence-based education about the harms of drugs in formal education and peer-education settings.
  • Introduce medically supervised injecting centres and increase clean syringe programs, including in prisons.
  • Legalise, regulate and tax cannabis.
  • Legalise electronic vaporisers and liquid nicotine.
  • Provide funding for substance testing at large music festivals.

 

Sexual health and reproductive rights

REASON believes women should have access to universal, legal, no-fault and guilt-free sexual and reproductive health services. We support the right of a woman to determine whether to terminate a pregnancy.

What should be done?

  • Legalise abortion in all states and territories; implement buffer zones around abortion services to provide safe, harassment-free access to health services.
  • Fund evidence-based sexual and reproductive health information and health care services to ensure universal access across Australia.
  • Provide age-appropriate sex and relationships education in all state and territory curricula.
  • Make the age of consent nationally consistent.

 

Dying with dignity

REASON supports the right of individuals with terminal disease and intolerable suffering to choose to end their life with dignity, providing this is entirely voluntary and subject to appropriate safeguards. It’s not a matter of voluntary assisted dying OR palliative care; we should have both.

What should be done?

  • Legalise voluntary assisted dying, with appropriate safeguards, in all states and territories.
  • Increase funding for non-religious palliative care, including home based palliative care.
  • Give legal force to Advance Care Directives in all states and territories.

Ageing Strategy

The Australian population is ageing. This significant demographic shift presents both challenges and opportunities and will lead to changes in our communities. It will affect our workforces; the way we deliver services; plan our transport; and design our cities and towns.

The ResaonParty understands that we must plan for this change by developing an ageing strategy in each state and territory.

 

Sex work

REASON rejects the Nordic Model of sex work that criminalises clients and infantilizes workers. Evidence shows decriminalisation leads to reduced risk of trafficking, gender-based violence, HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Sex work laws should recognise legal sex between consenting adults and should uphold the human rights and health rights of people who engage in sex work.

What should be done?

  • Decriminalise sex work; planning regulations to inform the appropriate location of brothels; no registration or licensing requirements for private workers; encourage but don’t mandate STI and HIV testing.
  • Work with peer-based sex worker organisations in the Asia-Pacific region to tackle criminalisation and issues relating to migration of people engaged in sex work.
  • Amend state and federal anti-discrimination laws to make it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the their profession, trade or calling.

 

Family violence

Domestic violence is a scourge on Australian society and a blot on our national psyche. Everyone should feel safe in their own homes and with those who are closest to them.

What should be done?

  • Increase funding for temporary safe houses for those affected by family violence; and for legal and psychological services.
  • Ensure family violence organisations are trained to deal with LGBTI people affected.
  • Include threats to maltreat family pets as instances of domestic violence.