CHF's 2017-2018 annual report demonstrates our ongoing commitment to ensuring that integrating the experience and insight of consumers into organisational activities is a priority.
Over thirty years of consumer advocacy in health at the national level is reason to ponder the direction of health care and the role consumers and communities will play in shaping our health care future.
It is common belief that we need more preventative and integrated primary health care. The hospital of the future will look very different from the hospital of today. Changes to how health care is delivered are going to accelerate at an unprecedented pace driven by digitalisation, consumer
expectation and the advent of genomics and precision, personalised medicine.
Consumers will assume a ‘new power’. They will command convenience and access to high value, modern, personalised services that meet their needs. They will expect to have choice and control over the services they pay for. They will be activated more than ever with access to burgeoning information and innovations that will assist them to stay well, self-manage and access quality care tailored to them.
In this issue of Health Voices, young people with lived experience reflect on the many challenges faced by youth when trying to navigate the health system – and how things could improve for those who follow.
The Youth Health Forum is a network of over fifty young leaders from across the country who came together in September 2018 to discuss our perspectives on the current health system. We are not health policy experts, but experience matters. Our views highlight key areas that will help shape the health of Australians in the future.
CHF is committed to the National Medicines Policy and in ensuring that all Australians have access to high quality, safe medicines and that all medicines should be used in line with the principles of the quality use of medicines.
CHF is keen to ensure the scheduling process is used to protect consumers by restricting access based on possibility of harm. Considerations of harm need to include potential for overdose, either accidental or deliberate and put in place processes that reduce the opportunities for both.
There is considerable evidence that slow release paracetamol has a higher risk of accidental overdose than ordinary paracetamol and that it is more difficult to treat an overdose with this form than the standard. There is also the capacity for greater consequences of deliberate overdosing with the modified form, particularly as at present it is able to be purchased in large amounts i.e. boxes of 96 tablets.
Watch here: youtu.be/Ttz3eWx6BMU In this final webinar in the series, a panel of health consumers ask questions of a panel of representatives from Government about My Health Record.
CHF welcomed the Review of Medicines and Medical Device Regulation. Whilst we did not support all the recommended approach of removing the required pre-approval of therapeutic goods advertisements to a complaints-based system, we are pleased to work with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to ensure that new arrangements will continue to protect consumer interests.
We agree with the opening statement that “therapeutic goods are not usual items of commerce” mainly because of their capacity to cause harm or for there to be adverse consequences for consumers who use them. We know there are low levels of health literacy in Australia and this means that many consumers only have limited capacity to assess the merits of therapeutic products, so advertising aimed at consumers can be more influential than for other types of products.
Consumers want support in finding accurate, effective smartphone apps for health and wellness, and they should be subject to an authoritative regulatory system that rates them for efficacy.
As consumers increasingly turn to health apps to aid and monitor their health and treatment, there’s clearly a need for people to know whether they can trust the apps, and whether they offer the best health option available and are worth the investment in time and money.
Our survey results highlight the growing public demand for credible and effective oversight of health apps given their accelerating reach into every aspect of health care.