There are 105 health justice services currently operating across Australia in which legal help is provided in healthcare settings and teams. These services include both formal health justice partnerships and outreach, integrated or hub services that combine legal assistance and healthcare.
We are now seeing the impact that we had been expecting to see of COVID-19, with our current information suggesting 21 partnerships ceased or became inactive since March 2020. However, the overall number remains relatively stable with new partnerships commencing and others coming online.
The pandemic continues to affect how partnerships work: in a recent survey almost half of health justice partnerships (49%) reported that their ability to provide assistance face-to-face in health or community service settings is currently restricted or reduced due to COVID-19.
- 47 services are present in hospitals
- 36 in community settings
- 24 in primary health settings (other than Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander health services)
- 28 partnerships involve legal aid commissions
- 79 involve generalist or specialist community legal centres
- 2 involve other types of legal services.