Phone: 08 8231 4169 | Email: | Find HCASA on FacebookFollow HCASA on Twitter

Phone: 08 8231 4169
Find HCASA on FacebookFollow HCASA on Twitter

hca logo

Consumers at the centre of health
in South Australia

The formation of Health Consumers Alliance of SA Inc (HCA) was a milestone in community and consumer engagement in South Australia. For many years, people active in health issues knew that it was an uphill battle to have their voices heard and actioned in the health system.

Early in 2001, the South Australian Council of Social Services began exploring strategies for more effective consumer participation in health and community services, auspicing a project funded by the SA Department of Human Services.

A Healthy Voices network of consumers and providers who were interested in advancing consumer participation was formed, together with a Project Steering Group. In October 2001, Healthy Voices organised a Raise Your Voice conference, which attracted more than 100 delegates. The Conference showcased good examples of consumer and community participation in health planning and service delivery, and ratified a Directions Statement put forward by the Project Steering Group to advance more effective consumer, carer and community participation.

Conference participants decided the first priority was the creation of a state-based consumer organisation, and called on community people and groups to develop the aims, objectives and structure for such an organisation. Consultations leading to the formation of HCA strongly indicated that people wanted an organisation which took a social view of health - one which would concentrate on systemic issues and improvements, based on the experience of health consumers in the system.

In May 2002, John Wishart, Healthy Voices Project Coordinator, compiled findings in the report Setting Up a South Australian Consumer Health Organisation. An Interim Management Committee was established to frame the constitution, canvass members and incorporate under South Australian law.

Setting Up a South Australian Consumers Health Organisation

Incorporation was achieved on 18 September 2002, and the inaugural Annual General Meeting was held on 6 November 2002.

HCA was evaluated after its first year of operation. The article below - Building an Effective Voice for Health Consumers in South Australia - appeared in Health Issues 81, Summer 2004. It summarises the evaluation findings, focussing on the benefits and achievements of HCA and areas that required additional attention.

Building an Effective Voice for Health Consumers in South Australia


Latest news

Conflict of Interest Workshop

Last Thursday HCA hosted researchers Dr Ray Moynihan and Professor Lisa Bero from Bond University and Sydney University for a consumer workshop. The workshop was one in a series of national workshops with consumers about the issue of financial conflicts of interests with a focus on relationships with drug companies. The workshop covered the financial relationships between research funders and clinicians or researchers and the impact on outcomes. The group also discussed why conflict of interests matter and how these conflicts can become risks to studies and how to be more transparent with this information. HCA was pleased to host such a dynamic and engaging workshop.

HCA will share the findings of this study when it becomes available.

Reminder: Christmas Closure

HCA will close for the Christmas period, Monday 24 December 2018 and reopening on Monday 7 January 2019. Next week's eNews will be our last for 2018 and will be a short wrap up of the year.

The first edition of our 2019 eNews will be published on Wednesday 23 January 2019.

There is change ahead for the HCA team in 2019, and we take this opportunity to thank our supporters and members for your continued support throughout 2018.

Transvaginal Mesh Update - New clinic opens!

SA Health has established the SA Health Pelvic Mesh Clinic at Royal Adelaide Hospital, a specialist clinic for women experiencing complications from pelvic mesh. The clinic aims to provide comprehensive multidisciplinary health care for all South Australian women experiencing major complications related to pelvic mesh implants. The clinic brings together experts from various health backgrounds and disciplines to work together as a team to review each patient’s individual case. A GP referral is required to access the clinic. Information for consumers and GPs is available here.

The Pelvic Mesh Consumer Support Line: 1800 66 MESH (1800 666 374) remains in operation for consumers requiring information about transvaginal mesh, operating between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

ACSQHC - Partnering with Consumers Third Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care released the Third Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation. The goals of the Atlas series are to map variation in health care across Australia, promote investigation to identify any unwarranted variation and recommend actions to reduce unwarranted variation.

The Commission released the first Atlas in November 2015. This was followed by the release of the second Atlas covering different topics in June 2017. The third Atlas was launched by the Hon Greg Hunt MP on 11 December 2018.

You can view the report here.

Head to Health - Finding Mental Health Resources

Head to Health is an online portal that helps Australians find appropriate mental health resources. The website has compiled resources from national mental health services such as beyond blue and the black dog insitute as well as universities across Australia into one space to make it easier for Australians to find the right information. You can search for specific resources to suit you, for example if you search for bipolar, several fact sheets and websites specific to bipolar will show with information on how to access support. There is also information for loved ones and carers, with accessible information and steps on how to effectively support someone experiencing mental health challenges.

You can visit the site here.

View all latest news

Latest eNews


15th National Rural Health Conference

24 - 27 March 2019
Hobart Tasmania

Everything you need to refresh your energy and passion for improving the health of people in rural and remote Australia is there; including:

  • 4 days of inspiring presentations and events
  • 5 pre-conference events
  • 30 keynote speakers
  • 212 presenters in 45 concurrent sessions
  • 40 poster presentations
  • a stimulting arts and health program
  • 75 exhibitors
  • and a gala dinner!

Register here before 31 December 2018 to take advantage of the discounted Earlybird registration rate.

View all events

HCA on Facebook

HCA on Facebook

HCA on Facebook

nothing about us without us