CHF established the Consumer Commission: Beyond COVID-19 in July 2020. The Commission was made up of a diverse group of consumer leaders to contribute views and ideas about the future of the Australian health and social care system.

Consumer Commission Final Report - Making Health Better Together

On 23 November 2020, CHF launched the final report from the Consumer Commission Making Health Better Together. The Commission met from August to October 2020 and exchanged views and ideas across a range of issues from consumer leadership to mental health, as well as integration, digital health and health equity. The key issues discussed in these deliberations are drawn together into a set of diagnoses, prescriptions and recommendations through this report. We present this paper for the consideration of the broader consumer community, as well as ministers, governments, health care professionals and industry representatives. The key issues identified will help shape CHF’s advocacy agenda moving forward. We hope you find this report a useful way to conceptualise what consumer-centred health and social care can look like into the future and how we can get there.

Consumer Commission Report - Making Health Better Together

Key questions the Consumer Commission looked at:

CHF established the Consumer Commission: Beyond COVID-19 to contribute views and ideas about the future of the Australian health and social care system.

  • How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we think about and deliver healthcare services and build a healthy society?
  • What should the future of health and social care policy look like from the consumer perspective?
  • What tangible changes should be put in place to support equal access to health care and reduce disadvantage across the Australian community?
  • How can the consumer voice, experience and perspective be instrumental in shaping the approach in the post-COVID environment?

Consumer Commission Workshops

The Commission held workshops from August to October 2020, and a final report was be published in November 2020. Communiques have been produced for each workshop outlining key topics discussed. See below for more information on each workshop.  

Workshop 1 - mental health and wellbeing

CHF hosted the first workshop of our Consumer Commission: Beyond COVID-19, on 4 August 2020, which focussed on the issue of mental health and wellbeing. To find out more, this communique reports on the workshop.

Communique on workshop 1

Workshop 2 - integration and care coordination

The second workshop of our Consumer Commission: Beyond COVID-19, on 5 August focussed on integration and care coordination.

Communique on workshop 2

Workshop 3 - health equity

This workshop was held on 11 August.

Communique on workshop 3

Workshop 4 - digital health

This workshop was held on 12 August.

Communique on workshop 4

Background

The anticipated threat of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have been managed well such that our health system is poised to cope. National conversations are now turning to the future directions and priorities for our health and human services systems in a post-pandemic environment as well as responses to the community health and wellbeing fallout of the economic impact. Many argue that we have an opportunity to not only reimagine healthcare, but to recreate it.

A National COVID Coordination Commission (NCCC) has been formed with a secretariat in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Its terms of reference are economically geared and explicitly focused on critical non-health factors.

CHF believes that post-pandemic policy must pay attention to equal access to healthcare and social welfare, distinctive patterns of disadvantage and enhancing social wellbeing and mental health. We also need to approach the measurement of ‘social wellness’ differently and strengthen the participation of civil society and consumers in recovery policy and planning.

That is why CHF established a Consumer Commission to make a significant consumer-focused and driven contribution to the national policy discussion about the future direction of health care policy and investment.

What did the Commission do?

The Commission:

  • Discussed the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and what the future of health and social care should look like from a consumer perspective
  • Contributed ideas and proposals to improve Australian health and social policy into the future
  • Developed tangible proposals to support equal access to healthcare and social welfare and reduce disadvantage across the Australian community
  • Presented the consumer voice in the policy debate

What outcomes resulted from the Commission?

The Commission was established to develop a policy paper for presentation to the Minister for Health and relevant Government departments. The watershed environment created by COVID-19 presented an opportunity for consumer leaders to make a significant contribution to the national policy discussion about the future direction of health care policy and investment. CHF will use the paper to shape our advocacy and policy work post the pandemic.

The Commission’s final report - Making Health Better Together - takes a similar form to previous landmark documents that CHF has produced, such as the 2018 Shifting Gears: Consumers Transforming Health White Paper.

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