Following the re-election of the Labor State Government on Saturday, 31 October 2020, Health Consumers Queensland was encouraged to see 20 consumers from our Community of Interest (and welcome new faces) at our Consumer Conversation this week to set out your priorities and solutions for the public health system during the next four years. A further 48 consumers have completed an online survey and we thank you all for expressing your views with such clarity and purpose.
You were quick to praise Queensland Health for its COVID-19 response and the way it has listened to the consumer voice. Many support the innovative models of care which were adopted during the past eight months including telehealth and care including maternity care and hospital care delivered at home or in community settings.
You would like the Government to build on these achievements and innovations to ensure that all Queenslanders have access to quality care. The key priorities identified by consumers are as follows:
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- Safety is at the very foundation of healthcare, but how often do we think about what safe care looks and feels like to us?
- How often do we consider what the healthcare system does to keep us safe?
- Have you ever felt uncomfortable or unsafe when receiving healthcare?
- Do you feel you can speak up if you do start to feel unsafe?
This was Health Consumers Queensland’s 21st conversation with consumers and carers since March 2020. It was clear from the conversation that although consumers assume they are getting care in a safe system and many of the safety nets are invisible to us, consumers can clearly identify and describe what unsafe care (and unsafe environment) fees like to them. All of the 28 people who attended brought their passion and their experience to this conversation, everyone had something to say. Safety is one of the tenets of the Australian Charter for Healthcare Rights.
We heard clearly how much safety matters to everyone who accesses health care. Yet what it looks, feels, sounds and tastes like for each of us is unique – and extends far beyond a single perspective of clinical safety. What feels safe for one person, may not feel safe another.
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