12 April 2019 Submission
Youth Health Forum

Throughout their response to the Productivity Commission's Inquiry into Mental Health, you will read the stories of members of the Youth Health Forum sharing their personal experiences with mental ill-health. Though their names have been changed for privacy, these are the real stories of real Australians whose lives are profoundly impacted by these lived experiences. This includes the struggles they have faced with the health sector and the failing safety net of social support. The Youth Health Forum believes in the importance of lived experience, in partnership with evidence based research, to inform and provide context for how mental health and mental health policy and governance impacts the lives of real Australians.

Based on the feedback and identification of priority areas by the Youth Health Forum, this submission will discuss, and make recommendations regarding Barriers to Access, Social Participation and Inclusion, and Service Reform within the context of the scope of the inquiry.

9 April 2019 Presentations and Speeches
Consumers Health Forum

Watch the webinar here. CEO Leanne Wells and Policy Manager Jo Root discuss the CHF analysis of the 2018 Health Budget and its implications for consumers.

9 April 2019 Position Statements
Consumers Health Forum

Read the full position here. We support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ right to be listened to in the Australian Parliament and acknowledged in the Australian Constitution

The Consumers Health Forum believes all Australians deserve to have a say in the issues affecting them and that genuine consultation and partnership lead to successful outcomes and solutions. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have consistently reminded us that they are best placed to address the current situation facing their families and communities.

A national survey recently found over 70 per cent of respondents support constitutional recognition and 60.7 per cent supporting the Voice to Parliament proposal. The Uluru Statement from the Heart has received unmatched, collective support from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We strongly urge governments to listen to the Australian people and acknowledge the historical and ongoing lived experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the constitution and prioritise genuine consultation in the Australian Parliament.

Recognition at the highest levels of leadership followed by an ongoing commitment to a genuine partnership will be central in reshaping and strengthening Australia’s national identity and enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to flourish.

8 April 2019 Submission
Consumers Health Forum
 
CHF strongly supports measures that promote continuity of care for patients and helps general practices to better meet their needs and preferences. We have long been proponents of the patient and family-centred medical home model of care and for the necessarily policy changes required to support its implementation, including shifts such as voluntary enrolment and financing reform that would seem additional general payments introduced over and above fee for service arrangements. For this reason, we fully endorse the core features of high quality general practice articulated at pages 5 and 6 of the RACGP's White Paper and only suggest a few enhancements, particularly relating to patient activation, team-based care arrangements and the role that GPs can play to reduce fragmented care and improve system navigation.
 
4 April 2019 Consumers Shaping Health
Consumers Health Forum
1 April 2019 Submission
Consumers Health Forum

Overall CHF supports the recommended priorities and actions and welcomes the commitment to further consultation with children, families and young people as implementation plans are developed and operationalised. We welcome ARACY’s proposed life course approach: it is important that the plan gives attention to both early childhood, adolescent and young adulthood health priorities. We note the recognition of CHF’s Youth Forum as a key platform for engagement.

One of our key concerns is that primary care and prevention have not been adequately addressed, despite existing data on childhood obesity and poor oral and dental health being referenced and despite the general practice and primary care being a key setting for intervention both planned and opportunistic. We know that these conditions are linked to poor health and social outcomes, and are overrepresented in the priority groups identified. As it stands, this is a major deficit in the Plan. CHF suggests an additional Priority Area  – Access to primary care and prevention services – incorporating measures that address oral/dental health; prevention of childhood obesity; integrated models of care that benefit to children and young people such as patient and family centred health care homes; and support for young consumers to navigate and access the health system. 

Read the submission

26 March 2019 Fact Sheets
Consumers Health Forum

On 1 April 2019, private health insurance begins the most extensive changes in recent years. The aim of this Healthy Cover guide is to provide an easy-to-understand overview of the changes and point consumers to more detailed information that will help them work through the changes to assess what best suits them. We have included consumer-friendly links for what you need to know in making your health insurance choice.

Read 'Healthy Cover'

5 questions to guide your health insurance choice

19 March 2019 Submission
Consumers Health Forum

Read the submission 

We are pleased to provide a submission supporting the continuation and strengthening of the Tobacco Control Regulations in Australia. Since the introduction of the Tobacco Control Regulations in the early 1990s, Australia has taken significant steps to reduce smoking and minimise the long-term health risks associated with tobacco. Prevention and cessation of smoking has been a remarkable public health achievement in Australia, which CHF believes is attributed to the regulatory and population based approach of the Tobacco Control Regulations. Despite the progress that has been made, 1 in 8 Australians still smoke daily, over 15,000 Australians die from tobacco-related causes each year, and an estimated 20% of the nation’s cancer deaths each year is caused by smoking. At a minimum, we recommend maintaining current regulations such as mandatory health warnings and would strongly encourage renewed efforts to stop and reduce tobacco smoking and for this review to ensure regulations and compliance processes are future-proofed.

8 March 2019 Submission
Consumers Health Forum

Response to the Report from the General Practice and Primary Care Clinical Committee: Phase 2

CHF supports the changes that the GPPCCC have been made in their Phase 2 Report and feel that their vision of the health system aligns closely with what we hear from members. We are pleased that our earlier comments have been taken on board but would like to see more detail around patient activation and the role of consumer leadership in the proposed changes to the MBS items. We believe that this element is essential to successful patient and family-centred primary health care in Australia. Beyond the scope of this Committee’s work, we would like to highlight the importance of strong change management to ensure recommendations align with consumer and sector expectations in the design, implementation and evaluation stages.

Read the CHF response to the Report from the General Practice and Primary Care Clinical Committee: Phase 2

Response to the MBS Review Taskforce Diagnostic Medicine Clinical Committee  

CHF supports the DMCC’s recommendations in principle in order to reduce inappropriate requesting of pathology and Diagnostic Imaging tests. In particular, we feel that Clinical Decision Support is a platform to make quality a focus of requests and an opportunity for consumer education (informed clinical and financial consent). Beyond the scope of the DMCC’s work, we urge the government to implement Clinical Decision Supports quickly and consider the additional support and funding that will help the success of this process.

Read the CHF Response to the MBS Review Taskforce Diagnostic Medicine Clinical Committee  

Response to the Report from the Mental Health Reference Group

In March this year CHF undertook a consumer survey on mental health services to hear from people with lived experiences about how the current health service system works for them. In that survey we asked about people’s experience of care, from a system integration and patient centred perspective and asked for ideas about how it could be improved. We used the results of this survey to inform our submission to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into mental health services. 

Read the CHF Response to the Report from the Mental Health Reference Group

Response to the Report from the Allied Health Reference Group

Thirty years following the creation of Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS), a review is long overdue. CHF members believe that this review and a commitment to the regular evaluation of Medicare items is an essential to maintaining a world class health system and ensuring that funding is available for high value care. CHF supports most of the recommendations made by this Reference Group to position AHPs to take on a greater role in keeping Australians healthy. The Main Themes that the Group has outlined address the challenges that consumers face in accessing allied health services as part of an MBS funded plan or otherwise.

Read the CHF Response to the Report from the Allied Health Reference Group

CHF Response to the Report from the Nurse Practitioner Reference Group

CHF supports all the recommendations in the report. We agree with the conclusions in the Consumer Impact statement of the report, particularly around the importance of these measure in improving patient choice and access to primary health care that is ”timely, uncomplicated, culturally safe and affordable”. We believe that the package of measures, if fully implemented would achieve that and would do make a significant contribution to modernising our primary health care system.

Read the CHF Response to the Report from the Nurse Practitioner Reference Group

8 March 2019 Submission
Consumers Health Forum

Response to the Report from the General Practice and Primary Care Clinical Committee: Phase 2

CHF supports the changes that the GPPCCC have been made in their Phase 2 Report and feel that their vision of the health system aligns closely with what we hear from members. We are pleased that our earlier comments have been taken on board but would like to see more detail around patient activation and the role of consumer leadership in the proposed changes to the MBS items. We believe that this element is essential to successful patient and family-centred primary health care in Australia. Beyond the scope of this Committee’s work, we would like to highlight the importance of strong change management to ensure recommendations align with consumer and sector expectations in the design, implementation and evaluation stages.

Read the CHF response to the Report from the General Practice and Primary Care Clinical Committee: Phase 2

Response to the MBS Review Taskforce Diagnostic Medicine Clinical Committee  

CHF supports the DMCC’s recommendations in principle in order to reduce inappropriate requesting of pathology and Diagnostic Imaging tests. In particular, we feel that Clinical Decision Support is a platform to make quality a focus of requests and an opportunity for consumer education (informed clinical and financial consent). Beyond the scope of the DMCC’s work, we urge the government to implement Clinical Decision Supports quickly and consider the additional support and funding that will help the success of this process.

Read the CHF Response to the MBS Review Taskforce Diagnostic Medicine Clinical Committee  

Response to the Report from the Mental Health Reference Group

In March this year CHF undertook a consumer survey on mental health services to hear from people with lived experiences about how the current health service system works for them. In that survey we asked about people’s experience of care, from a system integration and patient centred perspective and asked for ideas about how it could be improved. We used the results of this survey to inform our submission to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into mental health services. 

Read the CHF Response to the Report from the Mental Health Reference Group

Response to the Report from the Allied Health Reference Group

Thirty years following the creation of Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS), a review is long overdue. CHF members believe that this review and a commitment to the regular evaluation of Medicare items is an essential to maintaining a world class health system and ensuring that funding is available for high value care. CHF supports most of the recommendations made by this Reference Group to position AHPs to take on a greater role in keeping Australians healthy. The Main Themes that the Group has outlined address the challenges that consumers face in accessing allied health services as part of an MBS funded plan or otherwise.

Read the CHF Response to the Report from the Allied Health Reference Group

CHF Response to the Report from the Nurse Practitioner Reference Group

CHF supports all the recommendations in the report. We agree with the conclusions in the Consumer Impact statement of the report, particularly around the importance of these measure in improving patient choice and access to primary health care that is ”timely, uncomplicated, culturally safe and affordable”. We believe that the package of measures, if fully implemented would achieve that and would do make a significant contribution to modernising our primary health care system.

Read the CHF Response to the Report from the Nurse Practitioner Reference Group

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