7 September 2021 Consumers Shaping Health
Consumers Health Forum

Youth Health Summit a timely forum

In the September 2021 edition of Consumers Shaping Health, we .....

  • Our friends at headspace have launched a new campaign to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people with their social and emotional wellbeing
  • Share the Youth Health Forum registration details.
  • Hear from Hamza on the Gold Coast who talks about his family's experience with COVID-19 vaccination,

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30 August 2021 Submission

Response to Developing National Safety and Quality Mental Health Standards for Community Managed Organisations

This response advocates that the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ASQHC) co-design the new Standards with consumers of mental health services.  This means not only consulting and engaging with consumers, but offering consumer led development of the Standards. 

Consumers should be directly involved and engaged at every stage of the project.  CHF recommends that ACSQHC work with consumers – including carers and families of people with mental health conditions – to understand their “journeys” and their needs along the way, for example, using personas to understand and respond to varying conditions, co-morbidities (including the combination of mental health, physical conditions and disabilities that may be experienced by many consumers), and medical and non-medical services that may be used in combination.

CHF consultations with members and other consumers also identified subjects for the Commission’s consideration when developing domains and actions for community managed organisations.

30 August 2021 Submission

Submission to the Select Committee on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Inquiry

CHF broadly supports the findings and recommendations of the findings and recommendations made in recent and previous years over many years. They confirm that consumers and carers experience a mental health system that fragmented, difficult to understand and navigate, and is not serving mental health care consumers or the community well.  This consistency also makes it clear that the failings of the mental health system are widely understood and recognised.  Because these failings are complex and systemic, they will be difficult and costly to address but, with increasing mental illness in the community and a cost that has more than tripled over the last three decades, it is becoming more and more critical to fix the system.

This submission relates the lived experience of mental health consumers to:

  • the findings of the recent reports and reviews, including those of the Productivity Commission and the Victorian Royal Commission
  • strategies for encouraging emotional resilience building, improving mental health literacy across the community, reducing stigma, increasing consumer understanding of mental health services, and improving community engagement with services
  • the use, safety and regulation of telehealth services.

Added to the recommendations made in the reports being considered in this Inquiry, CHF made the following recommendations to better support consumers of mental health services.

  • Establish an independent national mental health consumer and carer organisation.
  • Integration of other systems, including primary health care and aged care to provide seamless, holistic care.
  • Implement structures to monitor and independently report on progress and achievements.


26 August 2021 Submission

As a member of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Health Statistics Advisory Group, CHF was asked to provide comment on a draft Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) completed by Maddocks to inform the National Health Measures Study (NHMS) scheduled to take place in 2022.

6 August 2021 Consumers Shaping Health
Consumers Health Forum

Young people incubating ideas for healthy lives

In the August 2021 edition of Consumers Shaping Health, we announce the successful applicants for the Youth Health Incubator Grants, awarded to young people and youth health organisations with projects designed to help address the “missing middle” concerns of young Australians in healthcare. The grants support community activities led and inspired by young people.

  • View the program and register for the Youth Health National Summit in September 2021
  • Join the new Mental Health Consumer Special Interest Group - applications are open until 15 August.
  • Hear from Brad Rossiter OAM, about his Covid-19 vaccination journey.

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28 July 2021 Submission

Response to Primary Health Reform Steering Group recommendations and discussion paper

The Primary Health Reform Steering Group was set up to advise the Government on developing the Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan. The Steering Group's discussion paper (https://consultations.health.gov.au/primary-care-m...) outlines 20 draft recommendations to the Government, aimed at improving the delivery of primary health care in Australia.

21 July 2021 Fact Sheets

YHF National Summit Lightning Youth Talks EOI

Youth Health Forum

Downloadable PDF version of Youth Talks EOI 

13 July 2021 Submission

On 25 February 2021, changes to the Therapeutic Goods (Medical Devices) Regulations 2002 (‘the Regulations’) commenced to introduce a new regulatory framework (the Framework) for medical devices that are designed and manufactured for individual patients (otherwise known as 'personalised' medical devices).  The key change introduced under the Framework is a change to the definition of a custom-made medical device.

The TGA received a range of feedback and information during the course of introducing the Framework, including concerns from some sectors about the impact of the changes.

In some cases it was claimed that the regulatory requirements were:

  • a duplication of existing regulation already provided by professional accrediting bodies or other regulatory bodies;
  •  excessive when compared with the actual risk posed by the device; and/or
  • unreasonable in terms of regulatory burden.

So in July 2021 the TGA sought feedback on potential refinements to the Framework that could be considered to ensure risks associated with personalised medical devices are appropriately mitigated without imposing unnecessary administrative and regulatory burden. To which CHF submitted the attached response.

7 July 2021 Consumers Shaping Health
Consumers Health Forum

Collaboration elaboration!

In the July 2021 edition of Consumers Shaping Health, we announce the commencement of Collaborative Pairs, a consumer leadership program with five pairs from across Australia and New Zealand.

  • Consumer consultation on Primary Health Care reform
  • Webinar on COVID vaccine rollout and key messages from the Department of Health's Principal Medical Advisor, Professor Michael Kidd, Rural Health Commissioner, Dr Ruth Stewart and Consumer Representative, Diane Walsh 
  • Announcement of details for the Youth Health Forum Summit in Sept 2021

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18 June 2021 Submission

The Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (No.2) 2018 (the Code) is the compliance standard that prescribes the minimum requirements for the lawful advertising of therapeutic goods to the public in Australia. It is an important instrument for a range of stakeholders including advertisers, manufacturers, suppliers and retailers; relevant industry associations; health professionals and peak bodies; and consumers and consumer representative groups. With the potential for serious consequences for non-compliance, it is important that the Code is contemporary and clear.

In this consultation the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) was seeking feedback on options to improve the Code. The proposed improvements were aimed at increasing advertisers’ understanding of the requirements of the Code, ensuring provisions work as intended, and improving advertising compliance. The proposed improvements considered the need to minimise unnecessary compliance costs while continuing to ensure that advertising does not contribute to any unsafe or improper use of advertised products.

The Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) is the national peak body representing the interests of Australian healthcare consumers and those with an interest in health consumer affairs, including health-based research. We have over 260 members reflecting a broad spectrum of organisations including state-based consumer peaks, condition-specific groups, volunteer patient groups, professional associations, Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and the research community.

We work in collaboration with our members, national partners and research collaborators to influence policy, programs and services to ensure they are in the consumer and community interest. This includes our role on the TGA Advertising Consultative Council (TGACC) as consumer representatives.

CHF is pleased to make this submission in response to this TGA Consultation.