Issues paper: We are still feeling lost and we still have questions.

What consumers told us during the week ending 25 February 2022.

This week, we were all reminded by a long-standing consumer, that we are lucky in Queensland. He asked us where else in the country are consumers at the table, asking questions, being heard, and getting the chance to help work with staff to improve our health system. So if we don’t say this often enough, here it is again, loud and clear. Health Consumers Queensland and our statewide network of consumers are grateful we are in Queensland and grateful to be working with people who understand the importance and value of consumer partnerships.

As always, there are things we can do together to make a great health system even better. So in this spirit, we offer this week’s Issues Paper – a 2 pager.

 

Improving health outcomes and experiences for people living in rural and remote Queensland

Queensland Health has released two new strategies to improve health outcomes and experiences for people living in rural and remote Queensland: the Rural and Remote Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022-27 and the Digital Strategy for Rural and Remote Health

The Rural and Remote Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022-2027 was developed as a result of engagement and consultation with key stakeholders including health consumers, Hospital and Health Services, not-for-profit organisations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations, Queensland’s education sector and the primary health sector.  Thank you to the consumers who were involved.

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“Working together for the best care possible” – What health consumers and carers are saying on Friday 4 February 2022

During a conversation with Torres Strait Islander Elders this week, one of the Elders asked: “Are we doing the best we can?”

HCQ asks each of us to consider that question. Are we working together with the right people, inside and outside our organisations/networks, to do the best we can?

Key issues for health consumers and carers this week focus on what’s working well with communications about COVID-19:  improvements to Queensland Health’s website are much appreciated; HealthDirect’s information is hitting the mark but needs better promotion and telehealth information and experience is a plus.

Consumers still need tailored advice from hotlines and now that schools are back to face-to-face lessons, consistent and accessible information would be valued.

Read the full summary in our latest issues paper >

“There is no time” – What consumers have told us this week (17-21 January 2022)

From a system that doesn’t support people with any vulnerabilities, including those with a disability, to a growing sense that we’ve run out of time, both consumers and health staff want a plan forward rather than crisis management.

The key themes you raised during HCQ’s Thursday evening online Coffee & Connect session and other online engagement included:

• Access to care and care for COVID patients
• Testing
• Vaccinations
• On-going health concerns (not COVID-related)
• Long COVID
• Be open and transparent

Read the full summary here >

What‘s the information you need right now? What consumers are saying today?

Health consumers and carers identify key issues and give suggestions of key actions. Issues include:

  • Consumers online today were very worried. They feel like there is no plan.
  • They are very worried that people are going to die unnecessarily because there is no plan.
  • Current consumer experiences shared today include being unable to get food or medications in rural and remote areas.
  • Consumers want knowledge but underpinning this knowledge and information, they want reassurance that the government has got a plan particularly now so close to the peak.

<Click here to read more>

Urgent Consumer Issues

Urgent Consumer Issues

Queensland’s border opening just prior to Christmas, coupled with the dramatic rise in cases from the highly infectious Omicron variant and recent adoption of national policy shifts has meant Queensland’s pandemic preparedness has been deeply tested.

An exhausted health workforce and Queenslanders have faced the challenges of the last three weeks with agility, resilience and commitment.

During this time Health Consumers Queensland, consumer and community organisations have been escalating issues, sharing resources, and supporting care providers and consumers.

This Hot Issues Brief paper is a summary of issues of importance to consumers in this response that need to be urgently resolved.

Read the Hot Issues Brief paper >

HCQ TV re-energises consumers, carers and health staff

HCQ TV re-energises consumers, carers and health staff


Thank you to everyone who tuned in to our inaugural webcast series: Sharing Power: Co-design with consumers for impact and equity during 25 May – 3 June.

Our Annual Forums are renowned for bringing together expertise across consumer partnerships. Whilst we could not meet face-to-face this year, we were delighted to still be able to bring you together with 18 inspiring consumer and carer representatives, HCQ and health staff, and NGOs representing consumers and carers to discuss four key issues which influence what it takes to truly share decision-making power.

  • Consumer Partnerships Going Digital: Bridge or Barrier?
  • Sharing Power: Showcasing successful consumer-led co-design
  • Why do you think I’m hard to reach?
  • Value based health care – What it means for all of us

Watch the episodes >

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MEDIA RELEASE – GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO SENATE MESH INQUIRY

10 October 2018 Sorry is a Good First Step

Peak consumer health groups around Australia have welcomed Health Minister Greg Hunt’s apology to women whose lives have been severely impacted by trans vaginal mesh implants.

“We congratulate the Minister for recognising that these women have waited too long for validation from a system that treated them as unreliable witnesses to their own pain and suffering.” “But ‘sorry’ is just a good first step. It doesn’t in itself deliver a happy ending.”

While the government has supported 12 of the 13 recommendations of the Senate’s Inquiry into TVM, half of these are supported in principle rather than in substance. In fact the only tangible initiative is the announcement of a Clinical Quality Register for urogynaelogical procedures and even that commitment is capped at “considering the feasibility” of establishing such a register.

Glaringly absent is any new funding to resource integrated care pathways for affected women.

“We are concerned that State and territory support for mesh affected women has to date been inconsistent and patchy with attempts at meaningful co-design of care pathways happening only in a small number of states.

“These women must be central to the design of appropriately resourced and compassionate, multidisciplinary care that includes access to removal by skilled clinicians, pain management and psychological support. We call upon COAG to direct the states and territories to work together to ensure a nationally consistent service response to women’s healthcare needs.

“While the federal Health Minister has kicked the mesh can down the road to the States he is also calling for system reform through institutional self-regulation. Expecting the various bodies that failed their duty of care to pick up their game without addressing their accountability is a forlorn expectation.”

“Further expecting the TGA to improve its adverse event reporting is at odds with the fact that they have registered 364 events to date compared with the 1,000 women who are parties to class action and the 2,400 women who have reported their experiences directly to consumer health groups. “The Minister needs to act decisively on the question of credentialing surgeons and on mandating informed consent (70% of affected women did not give informed prior consent to their procedure). While we applaud the few substantive initiatives announced in this response, a reliance on nonbinding guidelines and self-regulation by bodies that have failed to self-regulate will not wish the problems of mesh away.

For comment and further information contact:

Melissa Fox (Health Consumers Queensland) 04048 2716 / 07 3012 9090

Danny Vadasz (Health Issues Centre, Victoria) 03 8676 9050

Anthony Brown (Health Consumers New South Wales) 02 9986 1082

Julia Overton (HCA SA) 08 8231 4169 Pip Brennan (Health Consumers WA) 08 9221 3422

Darlene Cox (ACT HCCA) 02 6230 7800