Realizing the Right to Health for the Most Disadvantaged-Dr Liz Curran (ANU)

admin - 17th June 2016

How can we as a society ensure that people who are the most vulnerable or have little voice can avail themselves of the protection in law that befit civilised society? Empirical Studies in Australia (similar to the UK LSRC findings) reveal that the most excluded are likely to have multiple legal problems and least likely (only 16%) to gain access to legal assistance for problems capable of a legal solution like debt, poor housing, discrimination, consumer issues and access to essential services for survival.

Yet that same research reveals they often turn to health and allied health professionals for help but their legal problems still remain un-identified. Research tells us that unresolved legal problems lead to poor health outcomes. In this seminar, using her recent research into Multi-Disciplinary Practice (MDP), and practice informed experience Dr Curran will break down ways to enhance access to justice, improve outcomes and the social determinants of health. An MDP for example Health Justice Partnerships (HJP) sees a lawyer/s working in a multi-disciplinary practice alongside health and allied health professionals. The aim is to reach those members of the community who would otherwise not gain legal assistance with their legal problems (84%) but are most likely to have a range of legal problems as the research tells us due to a range of barriers they are unlikely to receive help but are likely to turn to their trusted health professional.  This seminar explores the challenges of such work and gives suggestions on how it can be done effectively and efficiently to make a difference in people’s lives. The seminar will discuss recent empirical research by Dr Curran with findings that multi-disciplinary practices are reaching those who are most at risk of having their human rights ignored or intruded upon.

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