Boost for grassroots health care provider groups hampered by COVID-19 impact in Queensland

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a $28 million fund to support Queensland’s community-based health service groups as part of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Palaszczuk said non-government organisations delivering critical public health services across the state can access the COVID-19 Grant Fund from this week.

“This funding is vital to support community-based health service providers to respond rapidly to the widespread impact of the virus in Queensland,” the Premier said.

“It’s critical that we provide support to the most vulnerable in our community through community-based health service groups as we continue in unprecedented times.

“This funding will help ensure a range of critical public health services including culturally appropriate primary healthcare services, mental health and alcohol and other drugs services continue to be delivered.

“Many services are rapidly having to change the way they operate to keep up with demand while also adhering to social distancing laws, making it difficult to continue their programs in the same way.”

Health and Ambulance Services Minister Steven Miles said demand on community based health service groups was expected to spike during the Covid-19 crisis.

“Obviously there is a lot of work happening at the regional, state and national level to deal with such an unprecedented event but we also recognise the need to support the hardworking community health organisations working at the grassroots level to protect communities,” Mr Miles said.

“I urge eligible groups to apply as soon as they can so they can continue to support patients and consumers.”

The support measures have been developed in consultation with peak industry bodies including the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, Queensland Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies, the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council and Queensland Mental Health Commission.

Mr Miles said the funding enhanced the significant work the Palaszczuk Government was doing to continue to deliver services during the pandemic.

“It complements Australian Government national primary health packages by supporting existing NGO service providers delivering public healthcare to meet local community health needs in Queensland.

“Access to the COVID-19 Grant Fund will ensure these service providers continue to be supported to contribute to the response to COVID-19 in Queensland as providers of public essential health care services.”

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