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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (29 November) . . Page.. 5341 ..


In relation to service and information delivery to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in the ACT, what is the current status of the action plans, as listed under section 6.4 of Towards Culturally Appropriate and Inclusive Services: A Co-ordinating Framework for ACT Health 2014-2018 being (a) The development and maintenance of resources on cultural beliefs relating to end of life and organ and tissue donation issues, (b) Management of the Service Funding Agreement with Companion House, relating to the provision of primary health care and mental health services to refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants, (c) Monitoring of the implementation of the Agreement with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection on the provision of health services of people in community detention, (d) Monitoring of the use within ACT Health of the ACT Government Services Access Card for migrants and (e) Monitoring of the implementation of the ACT Health policy and standard operating procedure relating to the provision of services to people who are Medicare ineligible.

Ms Fitzharris: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(a) DonateLife ACT coordinates all organ and tissue donor activities across the territory. It works with hospitals and hospital-based DonateLife medical and nursing specialists to provide professional donation services and encourage best practice to increase donation rates. DonateLife ACT has access to resources on cultural beliefs relating to end of life and organ and tissue donation issues.

Clinical staff at Canberra Health Services (CHS) have access to information on cultural aspects for different community groups in the ACT, and may also call on Spiritual Support Services to assist patients, family and staff in addressing cultural beliefs relating to end of life and organ and tissue donation.

(b) The ACT Health Directorate is currently funding services provided by Companion House through a three-year Service Funding Agreement from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2019. The relationship with Companion House is managed within the Policy, Partnerships and Programs Branch of ACT Health Directorate, where there is regular liaison between the Directorate and funded non-government organisations, including Companion House.

(c) The ACT Health Directorate participates in the Refugee, Asylum Seeker and Humanitarian (RASH) Coordinating Committee, which is convened by the Office for Multicultural Affairs in the Community Services Directorate and whose members include the Department of Home Affairs, and non-government services who provide services to refugees and asylum seekers - Red Cross, Migrant And Refugee Settlement Services (MARSS) and Companion House. These meetings oversight community and health services to refugees and asylum seekers. With respect to the provision of health services for refugees and asylum seekers in community detention in the ACT, ACT Health Directorate would work with the Department of Home Affairs and Companion House to ensure an appropriate health response.

(d) ACT Government Services Access Card is coordinated by Companion House for asylum seekers living in the ACT. ACT Health Directorate has a Service Funding Agreement with Companion House. Companion House is funded for the provision of full suite of services for refugees and people seeking asylum. These services include: primary health care; mental health counselling; advocacy; psychosocial assessments; tuberculosis screening; vaccination; and, referral to allied health services. ACT Health has committed $354, 677 in the 2018-19 ACT Budget to Companion House. ACT Health's Companion House relationship manager meets regularly with Companion House to monitor these services.


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