22 February 2021 Report
Youth Health Forum

This report has been produced by the youth health forum, click here for more info and to see the latest from YHF

 

Life Transitions and Youth Pathways to Health Services

In youth, there is a unique opportunity to establish health for life by equipping young people with the tools they need to get help when they need it, and by supporting young people to speak up about how they can live their healthiest possible lives. The 2020 Youth Health Forum (YHF) was created to make young people’s ideas and experiences part of our national discussions about services for young Australians. It was co-hosted by the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) and the Wellbeing Health & Youth (WH&Y) NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence and supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health. The Youth Health Forum Report, produced by CHF and WH&Y, is based on the discussions, insights and ideas of YHF delegates.

The report contains a number of recommendations to the federal government to support this, produced by the YHF Young Leaders and youth health advocates within the forum. 

Standalone PDFs of a 3 page summary of the report and 1 page reccomendations document are available. 

16 February 2021 Report
Consumers Health Forum

This report provides a roadmap for addressing loneliness in Australia, outlining the findings of the Loneliness Thought Leadership Roundtable, a virtual event held in November and December 2020.

Introduction

Loneliness has been shown to be linked to poor physical and mental health, and poor personal wellbeing, leading to adverse effects on communities. In the United Kingdom, governments are taking a strong leadership role through the development of a National Loneliness Strategy and in Australia, efforts to develop a nationally coordinated and evidence-based approach to tackle increasing rates of loneliness in our communities are just beginning. Loneliness is clearly a significant issue for consumers. As a result, CHF recognises that addressing loneliness is critical to improving the health and wellbeing of consumers and so we are pleased to have initiated this discussion and to be partnering with a community of experts to move this issue forward. 

Date of publication 

January 2021 

4 February 2021 Consumers Shaping Health
Consumers Health Forum

Health literacy means alot

How health literacy and consumer-centred healthcare plays an important part in any initiative introduced to improve the health of our population ... ...

  • The introduction of Active Ingredient Prescribing 
  • The COVID vaccine roll-out and diverse communities 
  • CHF Federal Budget submission 2021-22

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1 February 2021 Submission

CHF has provided this submission to the Commonwealth Government with recommendations for policy proposals and funding initiatives to be included in the 2021-22 Budget to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for Australian health consumers.

The submission draws on the work of CHF's 2020 Consumer Commission, the recommendations of the Productivity Commission's final report into mental health and the work of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. CHF calls for the establishment of an independently governed national health consumer leadership academy and the adoption of a Health in All Policies approach to address the social determinants of health. Due to the significant disruption and change experienced in the health system in 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, digital health is also prominent with CHF calling for the Federal Government to fund a network of digital navigators and digital navigation platforms to support consumers to access care.

We also see significant opportunities to use this moment of change to adopt new models of care and reorient towards a focus on prevention through both the 10 Year Primary Health Care Plan and the National Preventive Health Strategy.

The full submission is available below.

21 January 2021 Position Statements

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is a significant step in the recovery journey from this pandemic and many of the principles outlined in the previously released Ethical Issues Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic must be applied to this process. With the release of Australia's COVID-19 vaccine national roll-out strategy on 7 January 2021, details of how the rollout will occur are starting to emerge. This position statement outlines the key considerations from a consumer perspective that need to be incorporated into the planning processes for vaccine distribution. CHF has consulted interested parties from our member organisations and special interest groups in developing this statement.

CHF calls for the Australian government, working collaboratively with state and territory governments, to provide timely access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for all Australian residents at no cost to the consumer. Noting that evidence about different vaccines is continuing to emerge, the Australian Government should continue to proactively assess and source new COVID-19 vaccines as and when appropriate to best protect the Australian community from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full position statement can be accessed below.

19 January 2021 Submission

CHF supports the intent and the development of the NSQPH Standards to protect the public from harm and improve the quality of care delivered across a broad range of primary health care settings. The Standards are also an important way to provide transparency for consumers and service providers about the expected standards of safety and quality that should be met and the ongoing requirement for continuous quality improvement.

Primary health care covers a wide range of services, including general practice, dentistry, nursing, midwifery, optometry, pharmacology, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology and more. We know that health systems with a strong primary health care focus are more efficient, have lower rates of hospitalisation, fewer health inequalities and better health outcomes. Effective, integrated and comprehensive primary health care which is consumer-centred and takes a whole-of-person approach is critical to better meeting the needs of individuals, families and communities.

We also know that primary health care in Australia is facing a range of challenges, including the growing burden of chronic disease, an ageing population, adverse funding incentives to achieve volumes of services rather than better outcomes, workforce challenges, and digital innovation. We support the development of the NSQPH Standards to continue to strengthen Australia’s primary health care system, supporting services to cope with these challenges.

CHF's full submission can be accessed below.

9 December 2020 Annual Reports
Consumers Health Forum

CHF is committed to serving as advocates in the ongoing development and improvement of Australian health policy and practice. We strive to ensure that we constructively and comprehensively continue to bring consumer insights to national policy discussions and discourse. It became apparent that the consumer voice will be all the more important as we embark on a journey of health policy and service reform that adapts our system to respond to ‘COVID normal’. Read about our year in 2019-2020. 

7 December 2020 Consumers Shaping Health
Consumers Health Forum

Consumer report points to attitude sea change

The CHF Consumer Commission report, Making Health  Better Together not only presents a valuable guide on lessons of the COVID-19 experience, it also points to a deeper shift in thinking on health and social policy in Australia.. ...

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30 November 2020 Submission
CHF

The Australian Government is undertaking a significant program of reform to the regulation of therapeutic goods in Australia. The reforms will continue to improve the safety, performance, and quality of medical devices in Australia and improve health outcomes for patients who require medical devices. As part of the Australian Government Department of Health, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regulates therapeutic goods, and is responsible for implementing the Government’s reforms. The TGA conducted this consultation as part of the reform program. This consultation related to proposed enhancements to post-market adverse event reporting and improving communication with the consumers of medical devices.

The aim of a post-market monitoring and vigilance system for medical devices is to maintain the safety of patients and, through the collection, analysis, and action taken in response to adverse event reports, reduce the likelihood of adverse events recurring. Adverse event reporting allows the TGA to monitor medical device performance in the real world and identify emerging safety and performance issues. A number of reviews and inquiries have highlighted the safety of medical devices and the process for monitoring them once supplied on the market. While Australian regulatory practices are comparable to other regulators around the world, this consultation seeks feedback on proposals to strengthen them further. Improving Australia’s adverse event reporting system will more promptly address threats to patient safety and to take quicker action.

The focus of this consultation was to seek feedback on five proposals. The proposals aim to improve access to information about medical device safety. In addition to making it easier to report problems with a medical device, information about known or suspected problems with devices must be accessible and be understood by consumers, their families and their health professionals.

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 250 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. CHF is pleased to make this submission in response to this TGA Consultation on enhancing medical device adverse event reporting.

Note that this consultation was administered as an online survey and this document has been adapted from the CHF submission to that survey.

27 November 2020 Submission
CHF

The Australian Government is undertaking a significant program of reform to the regulation of therapeutic goods in Australia. The reforms will continue to improve the safety, performance, and quality of medical devices in Australia and improve health outcomes for patients who require medical devices. As part of the Australian Government Department of Health, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regulates therapeutic goods, and is responsible for implementing the Government’s reforms. The TGA conducted this consultation as part of the reform program.

This is the second TGA consultation published relating to the proposed Australian implementation of a Unique Device Identification (UDI) System for medical devices. It builds on the first consultation paper, Proposal to introduce a Unique Device Identification (UDI) system for medical devices in Australia, The potential implementation of a UDI System in Australia is a significant undertaking, involving a broad range of stakeholders, changes to business processes and IT systems, and with a significant level of complexity; particularly around the areas of labelling, provision of data, transition periods, and the management of legacy devices.

Whilst acknowledging the benefits of a globally aligned UDI System, there is the need to consider characteristics unique to the Australian environment. Some of those characteristics include potential linkages between the AusUDID and the ARTG, and the number of manufacturers who supply devices across Australia and other international markets, who may be required to be compliant with other jurisdictions’ regulations (the European Union (EU) and United States Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) requirements in particular).

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 250 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. CHF is pleased to make this submission in response to this TGA Consultation on enhancing medical device adverse event reporting.

Note that this consultation was administered as an online survey and this document has been adapted from the CHF submission to that survey.

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