Multiple Crises in our Care Systems Require us to Act 

by Dr. Robbie Lloyd

Solving Crises in Care depends on US, locally, not on “the system,” whether we’re talking about statewide bureaucracies, local government departments, politicians or non government organisations.

The endless failures we hear about and experience directly in aged care, disability support, youth and adult mental health, domestic & family violence support, stroke and chronic illness support – they’re ours to solve. By taking back responsibility for caring locally, and electing governments that will invest in community health and wellbeing.

The floods and bushfires reinforce exactly the same message. Public services are no longer for the public, they are designed as profit centres, or destined to be privatised.

Whatever area of health and human services you look at, they’re not coping. And the reasons are simple and twofold. Over-emphasis on ever-more-expensive Clinical Specialization, with its focus on pathologies and solving things with expert processes, and Privatization, where personal career gain and organisational profit overpower duty of care.

Dr Ranjana Srivastava recently pointed out this problem in her article in The Guardian on 23 March 2022:

But for faith-based communities we have a great opportunity to be part of the change we need to drive through, to remove the curse of neoliberalism and its focus on profits first, and efficiency and effectiveness measurements to keep everyone busy and unable to find time to remove this rotten model. 

By arguing against the ongoing domination of neoliberal models, and chasing up our political representatives (at all three levels – local, state and federal), we can reclaim our citizenship and make the system respond to what people want to see for really helping other people.

Walking away and saying “what can I do, it’s all too hard,” is a cop out. Parishes can become centres for social change and improvement if we combine forces with our ecumenical allies and secular community groups to insist on creation of permanent funding for community health and wellbeing services done by locals for locals.

If you are interested in getting involved in reform of these sectors (aged, mental health etc), please contact me at JPO and we will be continuing to give voice to the 2021 ACBC Social Justice Statement on Mental Health: