Why health consumer advocacy?
Consumers can present different perspectives and important knowledge. Consumers and their carers are the only people that have experienced their journey as a patient.
Advocacy contributes to informed planning, decision and policy making ultimately resulting in better health care and improved outcomes. Advocacy may promote consumer rights and prevent future incidents.
Who is a health consumer?
- Consumers are members of the general public and their communities who use, or are potential users, of health services, including their family and carers.
- Consumers may participate as individuals, groups, organisations of consumers, consumer representatives or communities.
- Individuals experiencing health issues and using services.
- Carers who support individuals through an illness.
- Groups of consumers and carers who share a common experience.
- Consumer organisations - advocacy, self-help and networks.
Who is a carer?
- Carers can be of any age, are unpaid, care for another person who needs ongoing support because of a long-term medical condition, a mental illness, a disability, frailty or the need for palliative care.
- A carer may or may not be a family member and may or may not live with the person.
- Volunteers under the auspices of an organisation are not recognised as a carer.
- Limits to the role of a consumer advocate & representatives.
Government and non-Government agencies contact HCA for consumer representatives. HCA then seeks detailed information from the requesting agency and once approved by the Chief Executive, HCA advertises the position through the HCA website, eNews and the Consumer Opportunity newsletter.
See SA Health's Consumer Engagement and Participation page on their website.
Applicants for consumer advocate positions also are required to complete the HCA Introduction to Consumer Advocacy Training.
Please see Consumer Advocate Vacancies for consumer representation vacancies.