Ten reform to-dos for a healthier 2019

This article was first published in Croakey, a social journalism project that enables debate and investigations of health issues and policy.

Here we are in 2019, well into the 21st century and the new millennium.

As the years slip by and our knowledge about what works best in health care continues to expand, the question arises: are we best using what we know to improve our lives?

The Consumers Health Forum is fortunate to hear about many of the ideas and developments that offer the prospect of healthier lives.

Too often those ideas remain more talked about than acted on; treasures for another day.

As our recent white paper, Shifting Gears – Consumers Transforming Health found, consumers need to be involved at all levels of health decision-making. Consumer experience can inform better health care.

With that in mind, here are 10 thoughts for what we would like to see in 2019:

  1. PREVENTION: Government realising that prevention policy, and investment in it, yields the best health returns for Australians.
  2. HOSPITAL EVOLUTION: Working towards hospitals of the future, focused on care in the community that won’t look and function anything like the current model.
  3. INTEGRATION: Gearing our system to better manage multimorbidity, and bringing together mental health and physical health in primary care services as a focus; striving for a fusion of health and community services to address all factors that determine health.    
  4. LISTENING TO US: Serious investment in consumer voices and leadership development.
  5. PLACE-BASED LOCAL DESIGN: Ensuring provider and industry interests make way for consumers in co-design of health services, and accelerated use of Primary Health Networks and local partnerships for regional health care solutions.
  6. YOUTHFUL: Including young voices in planning and design of Australia’s future health and wellbeing systems, and investing in early years for optimum child health, development and wellbeing
  7. FIRST PEOPLE: Government stepping up to close the gap in health outcomes by prioritising the recommendations from the Uluru Statement From the Heart.
  8. MEASURE: Patient reported outcomes, experiences and activation levels becoming an integral part of measuring success in the health system
  9. EVIDENCE: Removing funding barriers in the health system to ensure people receive best practice, evidence-based care as needed from multidisciplinary health care teams
  10. TECH POWER: Embracing and regulating the technologies that make health care more accessible and efficient for consumers

What are your thoughts for better health in 2019? Let us know at info@chf.org.au

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About the author

Leanne Wells

Leanne Wells

Chief Executive of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia