Advocacy is the deliberate process of influencing those who make policy decisions.
In the health care sector advocacy aims to support or encourage an activity that helps a consumer, or organisation to secure health care coverage designed to best meet their unique needs.
Advocacy and influencing at a national level is central to the mission of MND Australia.
A number of different types of advocacy exist. However, there are two main forms of advocacy:
Individual advocacy focuses on changing the situation of one person - to protect his or her rights or to improve individual services.
There are two common forms of individual advocacy:
Most state based MND Associations employ Family Support staff that help people with MND and their families access vital services within the local health and community care system. This is an important means of support as the health care provision system is very complex and difficult for individuals to negotiate.
Advocacy also involves educating care providers about the needs of people with MND.
Systems advocacy works to change the situations of a whole group of people who share a similar problem, or to change a service system. Systems advocacy can benefit many people. It also strives to prevent problems.
Systems advocacy encourages changes to the law, government and service provider policies and community attitudes.
State MND Associations may undertake systems advocacy at a local or state level.
Systems advocacy at the national level is a vital role of MND Australia.
The fact that the number of people living with MND is relatively small makes the job of influencing harder - there is power in numbers!
For particular issues MND Associations engage in collaborative or joint advocacy with other groups who have the same or similar needs. These organisations include:
Palliative care Associations
Help people with MND and their families have control over their situation.
Because systems advocacy works to cause change in organisations, service systems, policy or laws, it requires a long-term, sustained effort.
Advocacy also requires:
Past and current areas for Advocacy include:
Care and support services for people with MND and their families
Financial support for people with MND and their families
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Advocacy by MND Associations promotes recognition of your rights and needs and ensures that you have a voice and that it will be heard.