CHF has established these Special Interest Groups (SIGs) as an additional way to involve our members and consumer representatives in shaping our policy and advocacy work so that it features even more consumer insight and perspective.

The SIGs concern Primary Health Care, Research & Data, Digital Health, Safety & Quality in Healthcare and Rural & Remote Health.

Primary Health Care: Strong primary health care is central to an efficient, equitable and effective health system. The Australian Government has committed to the development of a 10-Year Primary Health Care Plan which is an opportunity to develop a more coordinated, comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to primary health care in Australia.

The Primary Health Care Special Interest Group will allow us to better include voices of consumers in our advocacy and policy work relating to primary health care, including CHF’s involvement in developing the 10-Year Primary Health Care Plan.

Research & Data: How and why consumers can be involved in research is a growing area of interest for CHF.  We are increasingly advocating on issues at the intersection of health research and policy and are conducting more research projects of our own which we would like to do with greater consumer involvement. 

We are interested in shaping the national policy discussion about how consumer involvement in research is resourced and where it is placed, and improving the confidence and skills of the research community in patient and public participation as well as supporting consumers to become more involved in research. If you are interested in joining this group, you can submit an expression of interest here.

Digital Health: CHF’s interest in digital health issues is also growing.  Following the establishment of the Australian Digital Health Agency in July 2016, CHF has been working with the Agency on a range of digital health issues.  Issues include the implementation of a national opt-out participation approach to My Health Record, and digital health privacy issues for consumers. Submit an EOI to join the group here.

Safety and Quality in Healthcare: Safety and Quality in healthcare is an important focus for CHF. Consumer participation in safety and quality will identify what matters to consumers, where improvement can be made and contribute to the cultural changes needed among health professionals, health managers, health services and the wider community that are needed for sustainable improvements in safety and quality in health care. The Safety and Quality Special Interest Group was developed to work with CHF and connect to the Commission for user testing of resources such as decision support tools, consumer factsheets and consumer tools. Other opportunities may arise that align with the areas of focus and will be promoted to the group when appropriate. If you are interested in joining, you can submit an expression of interest here

Rural and Remote: We are creating a Rural and Remote Special Interest Group  to ensure we include the voices of rural and remote consumers in all our policy and advocacy work. We see this as a precursor to establishing a Rural and Remote Health Forum, which is a  longer-term goal for CHF. If you are interested in joining please submit an EOI here 

SIGs are advisory to the CHF Secretariat, with decisions on final positions and statements remaining with the CHF Board. The SIGs do not meet face to face, and no sitting fees or reimbursement is offered to participants.