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Although there are significant strategies and service providers in place throughout SA, including the state’s ten local health networks, the siloed and fragmented nature of these services means we have a system that is inefficient, with competing agendas and priority areas, and with policy design commonly separated from policy implementation. The experience for children and young people and their families attempting to navigate these separated service systems across different agencies and levels of government, is ultimately frustrating and unsatisfying, and one which often does not deliver on the health solutions children and young people are seeking or should be able to expect.

Without systemic accountability for measuring equity across the health system and health networks, we limit our understanding of who is missing out. We can’t see valuable insights about the groups of children hidden or overrepresented and we miss patterns around the same children who are missing out across multiple indicators. Such insights are critical to planning policy and the shaping and delivery of services.

The Commissioner wants decision makers to set a clear vision that will enable a joined-up approach to health care currently being provided to South Australia’s 374,400* children and young people that is focused specifically on their health needs, which are very different from those of adults.