Thank you to the many consumers and carers, and Dr Jillann Farmer, the Deputy Director-General of Clinical Excellence Queensland who contributed to such a powerful and open Consumer Conversation about feeling safe in our public health system this week.
We heard loud and clear how much safety matters to all of us who access health care. We also learned that what it looks, feels, sounds and tastes like for each of us is so unique – and extends far beyond a single perspective of clinical safety.
You shared what safety means to you if you identify as LGBTIQ, if you are from a culturally or linguistically diverse background and no one speaks your language, if you are challenging a senior clinician, or a carer having to point out a problem with the care of a loved one, if you have to invoke Ryan’s Rule or another review / complaint protocol, or if you feel very unwell or vulnerable.
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An inclusive Queensland matters for all Queenslanders
Health Consumers Queensland was one of eight state-wide organisations who co-hosted the Make Disability Count 2020 State Election Virtual Forum last Thursday, 8 October.
Over 200 people registered to attend and five political parties joined us to answer questions that are important to people with disability, their families and the organisations that support them.
Together with Queenslanders with Disability Network, ADA Australia hosting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland, National Disability Services, Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, Community Services Industry Alliance, Queensland Advocacy Inc., and the Queensland Collective for Inclusive Education, we all called on political parties to commit to seven priority policy areas:
- Independent individual and systemic advocacy
- Investment in frontline community services
- Disability leadership, governance and accountability across mainstream services
- A dedicated Minister for Disability and Inclusion;
- Human Rights
- Sector capacity
- Inclusive education.
Welcome back to everyone after the September school holiday break. We hope many of you feel refreshed and revitalized as we head towards the end of this long year.
We kicked off our return to ‘’business as unusual’’ this week by hosting an important conversation with more than 40 people: Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and non-CALD consumers, NGOs representing the interests of CALD consumers including World Wellness Group and the Refugee Health Network, and staff from Queensland Health’s Disability and Multicultural Health Unit, the Social Policy Unit, the Statewide Lead for COVID-19 for Aged Care and Disability and the Strategic Communications Branch.
Since April 2020, the Department and stakeholders representing CALD communities in Queensland have been working together to develop policy and action plans for a COVID-19 response that meets the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse people. Throughout this time, Health Consumers Queensland has also been listening to culturally diverse consumers who have shared their experiences of accessing health care during the pandemic and expressed their concerns and views about what is still missing the mark. (more…)
Health Consumers Queensland is delighted to announce that, for the first time in our public health system’s history, consumers are sitting across almost all the key governance committees in the Department of Health (known as Tier 2 System Advisory Committees).
Eight out of the nine committees have representation from consumers, clinicians and First Nations people as well as an organisational representative from Health Consumers Queensland. The System Management Advisory Committee is the only exception, with a decision by the Chairs to have clinicians and First Nations people on the Tier 2 committee, and consumers on their Tier 3 sub-committees.
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Do you remember back in April, when Annastacia Palaszczuk was telling Queenslanders that containing COVID-19 was going to be “a marathon, not a sprint”? Fast forward to the last few weeks in August, we are watching what is unfolding in Victoria and New South Wales, continuing to have concerning cases appear in Queensland and coming to accept that this is not all going to be ‘all over by Christmas’.
Indeed, one consumer remarked how people keep talking about ‘’post-COVID”, when really we all need to be focusing on how the health system and consumers can be supported to maintain and access regular health services and care, alongside sustaining a constant state of readiness for COVID-19 outbreaks, care and containment.
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Jessica Bean is an experienced health consumer and a member of both our state-wide network and COVID-19 Community of Interest group.
Last week we heard her share her thoughts during a focus group with Health and Wellbeing Queensland on the best ways to engage with consumers and she spoke about the importance of our Issues Papers for consumers as an example of best practice.
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A vaccine for COVID-19 remains keenly anticipated by many Australians as a way of releasing us from ongoing restrictions and protecting us from infection outbreaks.
According to peer-reviewed research published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal, a vaccination rate of 80% is needed to ensure herd immunity to COVID-19. A motivated population is clearly vital to an immunisation programme’s success, yet the scale, urgency and unknowns of such a programme are causing concern to some health consumers as they consider choosing to have a vaccine if and when one becomes available.
Here in Queensland, Health Consumers Queensland is uniquely positioned to amplify the consumer voice. We are fortunate to work with a Government, health department and health services that welcome consumer engagement and values the consumer voice. Importantly, this commitment is matched by action, not just lip service, with consumer/HCQ participation facilitated at almost every level of decision making in health, and our organization being funded to pivot our work to support the response to COVID-19.
While this engagement and action has by no means been perfect and in every part of the system, it has been this openness by those in the health system to listen to consumers and act, which has set our State’s response apart from the majority of the rest we heard at this week’s Consumer Conversation.