Putting the care back into healthcare

Joint letter from Queensland-based consumer, community and clinician groups

In a powerful demonstration of consumer-led partnerships, and a first in Queensland, 13 organisations have come together to write a joint letter to all political parties and candidates contesting the 2022 Federal election. The issues raised in the letter are concerns shared by health stakeholders across Australia.

The letter calls on all parties and candidates to commit to innovating and improving our health system so it is healthier, agile, collaborative and better able to meet the diverse needs of Queenslanders – all while being affordable and accessible for all people.

Download and read the open letter here

What can health consumers do to share the letter?

How can organisations use the letter?

The letter calls for action to provide equity of access and priority given to the healthcare needs of

  • First Nations peoples
  • People with disability and complex health needs
  • People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Older people
  • Rural and remote communities

It also urges improved integration between primary, community and tertiary healthcare, and a consumer-centred healthcare system. The letter is co-signed by 13 organisations

  • Health Consumers Queensland
  • Queenslanders with Disability Network
  • Palliative Care Queensland
  • ADA Australia
  • Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland
  • Refugee Health Network Queensland
  • Council of the Ageing Queensland
  • Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union
  • Australian Medical Association Queensland
  • Rural Doctors Association of Queensland
  • Australian College of Rural & Remote Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

What can Queensland consumers do to share the letter?

  • Read the letter to get a clear understanding of the key issues in health in this Federal election
  • Discuss with friends and family so they can consider some issues they might not have thought of before
  • Share with your networks so they have easy access to reliable information from trusted sources
  • Before the Federal Election on Sat 21 May tell candidates contesting the Federal election in your electorate that these issues matter to you and to Queenslanders. This helps them know what’s important to you and others in the electorate.
  • Share with your State Member of Parliament. Health is shared between the State and Federal governments, so your State Member can have some influence. Find your electorate and current State Member.
  • You could even organize a meeting with Federal candidates or your State Member of Parliament to tell them about your concerns and what you’d like them to do about them.

Who does what in Australian healthcare?

In brief, the Australian Federal Government is responsible for Primary Health Networks, GPs, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, NDIS, and the regulations of health practitioners.

The Queensland Government (Queensland Health) covers public hospitals, screening services such as Breastscreen, Queensland’s COVID response and more.

With two different governments controlling different aspects of health, people and issues can fall through the cracks. This letter addresses some of those problems.

How do I share the letter effectively?

This letter covers a range of topics. When you share the letter, talk about one or two issues and how they affect you, your family or your community. This page from the Climate Council has great tips for writing to an MP.

How can organisations use the letter?

  • Share the letter through social media, discussing the issues that have the greatest impact on your members and encourage them to share it. Yo
  • Share the letter with your members, including some ideas like the ones above so they get some ideas and resources to help them share it effectively.
  • Share with organizations you have a relationship with and encourage them to share it too.
  • Do you have a contact in the media? This could be mainstream media or a specialist publication such as an industry-specific publication. Share the letter with them and talk to them about why it matters to your organization and members.


HCQ’s Consumers, Community and Clinicians Forum (C4F)

This statement has been an initiative of C4F, a new consumer-focused partnership forum started by HCQ in January 2022, to connect consumer representatives, consumer and community organisations and health professionals associations outside the public health system (ie not funders or providers of health services) who continue to play a valuable role in supporting the COVID-19 response in Queensland.

Chaired by HCQ CEO and initially held three times per week and now back to twice a week, C4F has been a valuable opportunity for rapid:

  • High level information sharing, with an equity lens on gaps in the COVID response for vulnerable communities
  • Agreement on burning issues to collectively escalate
  • Identify consumer-focused solutions to those issues and the role our organisations can play to support
  • Advocate for immediate resolution by Government, health system or other stakeholders

Another key outcome of C4F has been a joint open letter to Commonwealth and State governments seeking vital supplies, services and supports in the current Omicron environment for people with a disability. Eighteen organisations signed the letter and we now await the report and recommendations to Government from a cross-departmental forum held by Queensland Health in April 2022 in response to our letter. Open Letter to Commonwealth and State governments calling for immediate actions – Queenslanders With Disability Network (qdn.org.au)