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COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan for People with Disabilities – Intro

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that – novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
was a worldwide pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak represents
a significant risk to Australia. It has the potential to cause high
levels of morbidity and mortality – including mental health impacts, and to disrupt our community socially and economically. Australia is well prepared and has excellent
health systems to deal with the virus. All areas of the health sector are well informed and actively engaged in the national response. The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that people with disability and their families and carers – have equitable access to health
care during the outbreak, including accessible health and social care advice,
and access to essential supports and services. The Government has taken
a precautionary approach to COVID-19, working collaboratively with state and territory governments as well as – whole of government partners to implement
strategies to minimise disease transmission. The Government developed the first Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for COVID-19. The COVID-19 Plan outlines how
key activities will operate – and how the Australian public can
support the national response. The following information is provided in the plan: what we know about the disease and the outbreak what sort of risk COVID‐19 represents what the Australian Government health
sector will be doing to respond how the Government’s response will affect people what people can do to contribute how people can manage their own risk, the
risk to their families and their communities. As we learn more about COVID-19 we are: regularly reviewing our response. moving resources into activities which are working well. scaling back activities that are not working. COVID-19 presents a significant and unprecedented challenge for many people with disability, including children and young people, the people who support them, and the disability sector as a whole. Some people with disability are more likely to be vulnerable to the effects associated with COVID-19 including impacts which continue
following the pandemic period. The COVID-19 Management and Operational Plan for People with Disability (the Plan) has been developed to provide a targeted response for people with disability, their families, carers and support workers. The Plan also reflects the Government’s commitment to upholding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020. and effective participation in
society on an equal basis with others. In particular, this document seeks to ensure health services provided in response to COVID19: Recognise that people with
disability have an inherent right to life – and its enjoyment on the same basis as others Provide people with disability the same standard
of health care as other persons. Provide people with disability access to health services as close to their own community as possible, including rural and remote areas. Promote dignity, autonomy, and respect for
people with disability when receiving health care – and that the provision of health
care is free from bias or discrimination. Additionally, under the DDA 1992 the Australian Government is committed to eliminating discrimination- against people with disability, and ensuring that the fundamental rights of people with disability – are recognised on the same basis
as the rest of the community. For the purposes of this document the following definitions will be used throughout: Carer means: a person who
provides unpaid care and support to – people with disability who
are family members or friends. Support worker means: a person who provides paid support to a person with disability, either directly employed by the person or employed or otherwise engaged by a provider chosen by – the person with disability to deliver their supports. This includes a person who is a
volunteer who might be engaged by – an organisation to provide
support to a person with disability.

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