Stronger consumer voice means healthier Australians

A vibrant voice advocating for consumers is vital to a modern, effective health system and the Consumers Health Forum of Australia welcomes the announcement by the Health Minister, Greg Hunt, of funding for the next three years.

“Consumers are exerting an ever more important role in shaping the health system and we value government funding support as essential to boosting the safety and quality of the care Australians expect,” the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said.

“We welcome the Minister’s acknowledgement this week of the role that organisations like CHF can play in providing impartial advice to contribute to improved health outcomes.

“The core funding of $1.125 million that CHF will receive over three years under the Health Peak and Advisory Bodies Programme provides us with certainty that we can continue to provide the input to government decision-making that reflects the central place of the consumer and patient.

“The consumers’ role in the health system is assuming new power that is giving them more influence and choice, as we have stated in our white paper, Shifting Gears – Consumers Transforming Health which was released this week.

“Better health outcomes in Australia are advanced where consumers have an active say and we have identified eight key roles for consumers in the 21st century.  These include consumers as change agents, policy influencers and community mobilisers.

“The white paper reinforces the importance of a strong, well-resourced national consumer voice. We need government and community support for us to have capacity to continue to represent the diversity of consumers’ interests across the full spectrum of contemporary health developments such as primary care reform, digital transformation in health care and preventative health developments.

“The white paper also identifies the value of investing in consumer leaders through a program of training and development that builds their skills, knowledge and capacity to fulfil a range of roles in fostering more dynamic and responsive health care,” Ms Wells said.     



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Mark Metherell
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