11 March 2020 Consumers Shaping Health
Consumers Health Forum

How an epidemic may spur us towards healthy reforms

Concern about what additional burdens the spread of Covid19 might put on hospitals in Australia will further aggravate existing pressures on the health system.

  • Coronavirus - where to get the best health information
  • Most Common compliants against five health professions revealed
  • Preventing harm from overdiagnosis
  • Consumer anxiety about climate health
  • Social prescribing roundtable report

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3 March 2020 Fact Sheets
20 February 2020 Submission
Consumers Health Forum

CHF supports the Royal Commission finding that a ‘fundamental overhaul of the design, objectives, regulation and funding of aged care in Australia’ and ‘not mere patching up’ is needed, however, we are concerned that the proposed program does not do enough to confront the challenges faced by frail and vulnerable older people when they try to access their services. 

CHF advocates the need to work with families to co-design programs and an aged care system that appropriately serves the needs of older Australians. We recommend that programs are designed to help vulnerable older Australians navigate the aged care system and access services. 

Partnering with consumers goes beyond co-designing the role of the care finder. If we set out to redesign an aged care system that is easy to navigate and find the necessary services, we need to work in partnership with older Australians and their families across each level of the system, from planning to evaluation. Without the input of consumers, we are left to assume we know what people need and value in aged care. If we fail to include the perspective of consumers, we will continue to perpetuate current practices which have been shown to be inadequate. CHF strongly recommends the redesign of the aged care system is done through co-design with older Australians and their families.

CHF's submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s consultation on Aged Care Program Redesign – Services for the Future is available below:

19 February 2020 Submission
Consumers Health Forum

Overweight and obesity is an issue affecting our whole community. A range of social, environmental and economic factors contribute to obesity and impact a person’s ability to maintain a healthy weight. If the current trend continues, more than 18 million Australians (two-thirds of our projected population) will be overweight or obese by 2030.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council is developing the National Obesity Strategy on behalf of state and territory governments of Australia. CHF's Youth Heath Forum provided insights and perspectives of young health consumers on the issue of overweight and obesity. Read more in the submission below:

12 February 2020 Consumers Shaping Health
Consumers Health Forum

Coronavirus is a time for well-informed health consumers

In the face of fear, concern, indifference and/or impotence, there is one step Australians can take to equip themselves in the era of coronavirus.

CHF also released the Social Prescribing Roundtable report this month and we say farewell to Diana Aspinall, a highly regarded consumer advocate and mentor. 

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10 February 2020 Report
Consumers Health Forum

Social prescribing is the practice where health professionals, including GPs, have the resources and infrastructure to link patients with social services – or even social groups – in a bid to address the social determinants contributing to poor health and stave off the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation.

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CHF has partnered with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the NHMRC Partnership Centre for Health System Sustainability to host a roundtable on social prescribing in Australia. 

The Australian Government is currently developing long-term plans for both primary healthcare and preventive health. This presents an opportunity to incorporate social prescribing into future health system planning and service delivery strategies.

This Social Prescribing November 2019 Roundtable Report can now be viewed.

10 February 2020 Report
Yvonne Zurynski, Alex Vedovi, K-lynn Smith

A rapid literature review to inform primary care policy in Australia

Authors: Yvonne Zurynski, Alex Vedovi, K-lynn Smith

NHMRC Partnership Centre for Health System Sustainability Australian Institute of Health Innovation, 
Macquarie University

4 February 2020 Youth Health Update
Consumers Health Forum

The Youth healthUpdate newsletter for February 2020 covers:

  • RSVP for the Youth Health Forum Roundtable in Melbourne on 30 June 2020 to discuss Youth Pathways into Services
  • Information about the Young Carers Policy Forum at the National Press Club in Canberra on 24 March.
  • Articles by members about the CHF Board in 2019, the Social Prescribing Roundtable and the PHN Planning Day.

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3 February 2020 Submission
Consumers Health Forum

CHF is deeply concerned about the impact the Religious Discrimination Bill 2019 (the Bill) will have on access to essential healthcare services. In particular, we are concerned about provisions that prioritise the religious beliefs of healthcare workers over the healthcare needs of consumers, especially those consumers from vulnerable and marginalised communities who require sensitive and specialist health services.  

CHF supports providing protection from discrimination for people of faith, including people of no faith, but we believe this Bill goes too far and undermines existing anti-discrimination provisions by privileging religious expression over other values.

CHF is the national peak body representing the diverse interests of Australian healthcare consumers and those with an interest in health consumer affairs. CHF works to achieve safe, quality, timely healthcare for all Australians, supported by accessible health information and systems.

Read CHF's response to the second exposure draft of the Religious Discrimination Bill 2019  and associated amendments.