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

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

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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

THCCEC Activities Report finalised

The Transforming Health Consumer and Community Engagement Committee (THCCEC) Activities Report is now available. HCA would like to thank all the consumers and community members who volunteered their time and provided their wisdom to the Committee, which had its final meeting in September 2017. The report summarises the activities of the committee and the experiences of the consumer and community members as well as those of SA Health representatives who attended the meetings. Recommendations regarding future engagement in health strategy and policy are also included. You can view the report below. 

TH CCEC Activities Report

Power Dependency Forum Report

HCA hosted a forum on Power Dependency on Wednesday 15 November 2017. The forum had two key objectives, to review the proposed Power Dependency Strategy and associated messaging to inform the development of a Communications Plan, and support processes for potentially vulnerable people and their carers/families; and to identify what consumers should do to prepare for and manage an outage. The report summarising the key findings arising from the forum is available below.

Power Dependency Forum Report

Consumer experience of SA Health funded services report

HCA hosted a forum on consumer experience of SA Health funded services on Wednesday 29 November 2017. The forum objective was for participants to establish an approach across SA Health that ensures community-based services funded through SA Health have a consumer-centred care focus. The report outlining the main themes to emerge from the forum is now available for download below.

Consumer Experience Forum Report

CHF: Growth of private care in public hospitals raises equity questions

The Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) have released a media statement in response to a new report showing that public patients wait twice as long for elective surgery as private patients do in public hospitals. You can read the full statement here.

Directory of advocacy / complaints services

HCA is pleased to publish this Directory of advocacy / complaints services. It provides a summary of advocacy / complaints services that can assist individuals and families who wish to provide feedback or make a complaint about health, aged care or disability services. The role of each service and the degree of individual advocacy it provides is summarised, and contact details are listed. You can access the directory here.


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Latest eNews


Netfest 2018

Friday 16 February 2018

Netfest is South Australia's largest professional development and networking event for non-government youth sector workers. The day-long event brings together over a hundred dedicated youth sector workers, stakeholders and supporters from across the state to discuss ideas, projects and inspire best practice. Netfest includes both formal and informal networking, a keynote presentation, professional development session and an open forum. You can find out more and register here.

Introduction to Consumer Advocacy Training

Are you thinking about becoming a consumer advocate or would you like to refresh your knowledge?

Our Introduction to Consumer Advocacy Training session will give you information on the role, challenges and benefits of being a consumer advocate.

The sessions are interactive and based on adult-learning principles. Participants receive reference materials and a certificate of attendance.

For more information see attached flyer

The upcoming training date is:

  • Monday 5 February 2018
  • Wednesday 11 April 2018
  • Friday 22 June 2018
  • Tuesday 18 September 2018
  • Wednesday 14 November 2018

The training is held at the HCA offices at Level 1/12 Pirie Street Adelaide. You can register to attend online here. 

Consumer Advocacy Training Flyer

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