The Consumers Health Forum has presented Health Minister Greg Hunt with consumer priorities for a National Health Plan, setting out what’s needed to bring 21st Century consumer-centred care to our poorly-coordinated system.
Consumer priorities for the Plan centre on two essential starting points:
- Reforms to strengthen Australia’s primary health care system to make it more consumer-centred, prevention-oriented, and better integrated with hospital and social care and with more capacity to support transitions of care;
- Boosts to investment in health systems research, shaped by consumer and community priorities to stimulate services that reflect advances in health sciences.
CHF outlines reforms in seven key areas:
- PRIMARY HEALTH CARE: to expand the focus on new models of care to include children, families and others at risk of chronic illness, and to enhance the role of Primary Health Networks.
- PREVENTION: pre-empt chronic diseases like obesity with effective public health measures
- RETHINK FUNDING: to better link hospitals with coordinated community-based services
- INTEGRATE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES: with physical health, education and employment.
- FLEXIBLE WORKFORCE: incentives, education and services to put consumers at the centre of care.
- DIGITAL HEALTH FUTURE: support efficient care, more consumer choice and transparency.
- CONSUMER ORIENTED RESEARCH: to ensure consumer say in setting research priorities and translating research into practical improvements to services.
Please read the PDF for the full summary.