CHF is looking at additional ways to involve our members and the broader consumer community in shaping our policy and advocacy work so that it features even more consumer insight and perspective. We want to offer more opportunities to get involved without swamping people with emails and requests for input.

We believe a way to do this is to establish a small number of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) so consumers with an interest in an issue/particular policy area can work more intensively on them. The SIGs would be a source of policy input and a forum for ‘sense testing’ and further developing ideas/policy positions before they are disseminated to a broader audience, and adopted officially by CHF.

The first three topics we’d like to create SIGs around are: private health insurance, consumer involvement in research and digital health.

The groups will be advisory to CHF, with decisions on final positions and statements remaining with the CHF Board.

Recruitment to the groups will be through an EOI process, open to all members and consumer representatives. The maximum number of consumers in each group is 24. This caps helps keep the group manageable while assuring diversity. The groups will be co-facilitated by a CHF Secretariat member and a consumer, selected from the EOI process.

The groups will not meet face to face. The intention is to use a mixture of online forums and online videoconferencing with some capacity to join the meetings by phone. Training and support for people not familiar with either of these will be offered.

Please note that no sitting fees or reimbursement will be offered.

The time commitment is to attend a monthly meeting and to read documents and provide comments between meetings.

Private Health Insurance

Private Health Insurance (PHI) is a major area of interest for CHF and the broader consumer sphere. We currently support the consumer representative on the major ministerial committee on the topic (the Private Health Ministerial Advisory Committee) and are active in writing regular policy submissions on the topic. This group is likely to be quite active over the next 12 months as we continue this support and respond to both media and policy inquiries about the topic. It is a complex area, but one where we believe there is great scope for change soon.

To express interest in being a member fill out the form at https://chf.org.au/sig-eoi-private-health-insurance. Specific queries about this group should be directed to Rebecca – r.randall@chf.org.au.

Consumer Involvement in Research

How and why consumers can be involved in research is a growing area of interest for CHF. We are conducting more research projects of our own which we would like to do with greater consumer involvement, and are interested in shaping the national policy discussion about how consumer involvement in research is resourced and where it is placed. There is room to improve the confidence and skills of the research community in patient and public participation as well as to support consumers to become more involved in research, particularly in priority and agenda setting. Because this is a formative area for CHF, we anticipate that this group is likely to be discussion-based with members having the opportunity to shape some of our direction and thinking in the area.

To express interest in being a member fill out the form at https://chf.org.au/sig-eoi-consumer-involvement-research. Specific queries about this group should be directed to Rebecca – r.randall@chf.org.au

Digital Health

Following the establishment of the Australian Digital Health Agency in July 2016, CHF has been working closely with the Agency on a range of digital health issues. These issues include the implementation of a national opt-out participation approach to My Health Record, the National Digital Health Strategy, and digital health privacy issues for consumers. We expect this group will be involved in discussion on these and other digital health issues as CHF’s role in this area continues to grow.

To express interest in being a member fill out the form at https://chf.org.au/sig-eoi-digital-health. Specific queries about this group should be directed to Rebecca – r.randall@chf.org.au

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