Last Wednesday 9 August, NCOSS held its quarterly Health Equity Alliance meeting to discuss outcomes from our ongoing consultations at the Investing in Communities Regional Conferences.
The Health Equity Alliance is made up of a wide range of health groups that come together to advise NCOSS about existing and emerging issues in health, and assist NCOSS to develop its policy and advocacy agenda in this space. It is also an opportunity for members to share relevant information and hear from a guest speaker about a topic of interest.
Last week we heard from Michael Cecilio from St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, about the development of a Managed Alcohol Program Trial in inner Sydney – the first ever trial of such a program in Australia.
Managed Alcohol Programs (MAPs) engage people experiencing long-term homelessness and chronic alcohol dependence with services they may not otherwise be in a position to access. It involves supervised dispensing and consumption of regulated amounts of alcohol to program participants at set times, extending the principles of “Housing First” initiatives where shelter and provision of services are prioritised over reduced alcohol consumption. Results from MAPs implemented overseas indicate their potential to stabilise housing, reduce hospitalisations, reduce harms to health and reduce overall costs to public services.
The next Health Equity Alliance meeting will be held in November with a guest speaker from the Agency for Clinical Innovation lined up to talk about co-design projects in Local Health Districts. If you are interested in getting involved by joining the Alliance, please contact Elyse Cain on (02) 8960 7910 or firstname.lastname@example.org.