Putting OTs on the Federal Election Agenda

By Associate Professor Carol McKinstry, OTA President

This May we will collectively vote in the next government of Australia. Whichever party ends up forming government, there will be complex problems in the years ahead.

As we emerge from more than two years of a pandemic and continue to face natural disasters with increasing regularity, we are forever changed as individuals and communities. The human, social and economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic will play out for years to come. Including through the next term of government.

There are conditions which will prove a challenge on every front: human-induced climate change, housing affordability, cost of living, inflation, social isolation, the burden of chronic health conditions and our ageing population to name a few.

On several of these fronts, occupational therapy can assist with solutions. We just need to get those solutions in front of our nation’s future decision makers.

This is why we’ve compiled our first Federal Election playbook.

The playbook, released 7 April 2022, offers a range of helpful actions that will address need and improve access to services for Australian consumers in four key core of practice:

  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Ageing in place
  • A strong primary care system
  • A responsive disability sector.

Over the coming election campaign, we’ll be going out to all sides of politics, including independent MPs, asking them to consider the challenges and the solutions we provide. We’ll be seeking meetings and written commitments in response to our suggestions.

If you feel motivated to support our cause, re-share our social media posts or tag your local MP or candidate to ask what they will be doing to support occupational therapy and the many Australians who depend on our services.

We really do believe we have some cost-effective solutions to support the next government’s health policy positions and we appreciate your support in helping us get these in front of MPs and candidates. You can use the hashtag #otvotes2022 to join the conversation.

Together we are aiming for better funding for our profession and better outcomes for all our patients.

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