Log Your AHA

Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre (LCCLC) is cataloguing alliances, partnerships, programs and projects in Australia where the law and health interrelate to achieve improved health and social outcomes. This includes the spectrum of activities from individual legal service delivery to broad public health interventions. Log your AHA

While relationships between legal / advocacy and health service providers are still in their infancy in Australia (with notable exceptions), the potential of such relationships to break down the barriers to accessible legal services to people experiencing health issues is best exemplified in the Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) movement in the US. This movement has expanded rapidly over the past fifteen years and strongly demonstrates the socio-legal impacts on health and the associated health benefits of effective legal advocacy on behalf of patients.

There are three core activities of MLP’s:

1. Legal assistance in the health care setting, where legal practitioners work in conjunction with health practitioners in the healthcare team to address legal issues that are a barrier to the patient’s health. For example, working with an asthma patient, who’s condition is aggravated by the mould in their current public housing apartment, to be moved to more appropriate public housing or to have the mould situation addressed.

2. Transforming of health and legal institutions and practices. For example, reviewing hospital policy and procedure for end of life decision making processes that contribute to a patient’s sense of empowerment and well-being.

3. Broader policy change through public health initiatives. For example tobacco control laws.

The focus of this survey is to capture and catalogue the numerous examples of such initiatives in Australia – big and small, experimental or mature. Log your AHA

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