The third meeting of the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Communities Health Advisory Group took place on October 30, 2023. The Department of Health and Aged Care welcomed members to the final meeting of the year, providing updates on the National Women’s Health Advisory Council, including the closure of the #EndGenderBias survey on October 13, 2023.
The department also shared information about the Stillbirth Action Plan, addressing equity gaps for migrants, refugees, and CALD populations. The Safer Baby Bundle and Growing a Healthy Baby initiatives were tailored in consultation with target communities to be suitable for migrant and refugee women.
The Department of Home Affairs provided an overview of the Multicultural Framework Review, with submissions closing on October 13, 2023. The Review Panel’s report is expected to be finalized by March 2024. Home Affairs discussed measures to support all Australian communities affected by the Israel/Hamas conflict, including mental health and community well-being support services delivered by the Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT) and Primary Health Networks.
An overview of MyMedicare, the new voluntary patient registration system for general practice, was presented. It opened for patients on October 1, 2023. Registering with MyMedicare provides benefits to patients, general practices, and healthcare providers. CALD communities will be consulted on a change management strategy being developed to support ongoing implementation.
The department discussed the National Mental Health Workforce Strategy 2022-32, now endorsed by all governments and available on the department’s website. This strategy aims to build a sustainable, well-distributed, and supported mental health workforce to meet current and future needs.
Preliminary analysis on the recency of vaccination and findings from the investigation of barriers to vaccination were presented. Members shared suggestions for the future data work program.
The Chair announced the extension of the Advisory Group to December 31, 2024, expressing gratitude to members for their commitment. The Advisory Group will convene its next meeting in the new year.