24 February 2023 Submission
Consumers Health Forum of Australia

The Department of Health and Aged Care requested submissions surrounding their proposals for governance surrounding GP Data and Electronic Clinical Decision Support.

CHF believes that consumers should be safe in the knowledge that the data they generate will be owned by them, and that their agency and security are top priority.

17 February 2023 Submission
Consumers Health Forum of Australia

AHPRA asked for submissions regarding their proposed restructure to telehealth guidelines. 

16 February 2023 Submission
Tammy Wolffs

Consumers broadly support the vision and principles of the draft strategy.  They consider that many of the proposed actions could be effective in reducing stigma and discrimination.  Some consumers pointed out that the Strategy could be applied more broadly than to mental health conditions, for example recognising that many people experience physical health co‑morbidities, and that there is often a two way causal relationship between mental and physical health conditions.  They also pointed to the many physical conditions that draw stigma and discrimination, including obesity, lung cancer, and ME/CFS.

The Strategy should be widely accessible – not just to organisations and governments, but to consumers of the system – as intended.  It is extremely important that the document is written in plain English and translated into community languages.  Complementary material and a communications’ plan should also be developed and implemented so that the Strategy is accessible to all consumers.

Read the full submission

13 February 2023 Consumers Shaping Health
Consumers Health Forum

The Strengthening Medicare Taskforce Report was published by Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler on 3 February. In the February 2022 edition of Consumers Shaping Health, we ....

  • discuss initial impressions of the report and open registrations for a briefing for consumers
  • share details three specific consumer activities CHF will be focused advocating for funding
  • invite consumers to join a media spokesperson program

view the newsletter

1 February 2023 Submission
Consumers Health Forum of Australia

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare proposed a Sustainable Healthcare Module. 

CHF believes that firmer action must be taken.

26 January 2023 Submission
Consumers Health Forum

As the Commonwealth Government embarks on significant reforms to Australia’s complex health system, it has never been more crucial to work with the people who use and pay for our public health services. Research shows Australians care deeply about their health system and that their lived experience and ideas improve service planning and delivery, especially when change is occurring.  

The Strengthening Medicare Taskforce Report highlighted the benefits of moving towards a consumer-driven health system and noted that the success of reforms will rely on engagement with consumers in the design and delivery of services.

As this important work begins, the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) stands ready to provide consumer insights to ensure meaningful, cost-effective change is achieved. However, further investment in CHF is required to do this.  

18 January 2023 Submission
Consumers Health Forum

CHF is the national peak organisation for healthcare consumers. CHF’s vision is for Australia to have a world class health and social care system centred on consumers and communities. To achieve this, CHF wants to see consumers included in all governance structures within the health system and in policy making processes, including the government’s Measuring What Matters initiative.  

CHF strongly supports the government’s intention to improve its measurement of Australians’ wellbeing and quality of life, and its plan to use those indicators for future budgets and assessment of progress.

CHF uses a broad definition of health and has advocated across many of the policy areas that affect social determinants of health, especially income and people’s ability to avoid or transition out of poverty

22 December 2022 Submission
Tammy Wolffs

Long COVID Inquiry

CHF has lodged a submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport’s Inquiry into long COVID and repeated COVID infections.

Consumers told CHF about their lived experiences and the services that they need to get better.  They told us that many primary health practitioners do not know how to diagnose or treat long COVID.  At the same time, patients can wait many months for referral, and then many more months for treatment, at long COVID clinics.  Often, too, treatments are outdated and can exacerbate, rather than relieve, their symptoms.

The submission argues that an effective response to long COVID requires:

  • reducing repeated infections in the community
  • earlier treatment and multi-disciplinary care for patients, including mental health needs and other secondary effects, and supports related needs, such as housing, income, family violence
  • expanding the reach of specialist clinics and other primary care options that provide consistent, evidence-based treatment
  • conducting and supporting Australian based research into the condition, while using Australian and overseas research to educate health providers and update treatment guidelines
  • improving government (all tiers) community support for people with long COVID and their carers
  • increasing awareness of the condition, particularly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, culturally and linguistically diverse, and other disadvantaged communities, so that people who need it can get advice and treatment.
29 November 2022 Annual Reports
Consumers Health Forum of Australia

The year 2021–22 was significant on several fronts, not just for CHF but the wider health sector. To the relief of everyone in Australia, and beyond, the Covid-19 pandemic began to subside in early 2022 although its impact will be felt for many years to come. In our 2021-22 Annual Report you can read about how CHF played an important role in voicing consumer concerns during the pandemic, as well as contributing to several key initiatives including the Australian Government’s Preventative Health Strategy 2021-2030

17 October 2022 Submission
Consumers Health Forum

This submission responds to a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)  public consultation about whether the current scheduling of paracetamol is appropriate considering available data on paracetamol poisoning, including intentional overdose, and associated hospitalisations and deaths.  A variety of options, which suggest new limitations on access to paracetamol, are based on findings and recommendations of an independent expert report, commissioned by the TGA.  TGA does not have a view at this stage on the merits or otherwise of any options.