HCA will be de-funded from 1 July 2019
By the time you read this enews, many of you will be aware that yesterday in the 2018-2019 budget it was announced that HCA will be de-funded from 1 July 2019. We have little further information at this time and will undertake to keep you informed as soon as we know more. This news was completely unexpected, particularly in light of the consistent positive feedback we have had regarding our work with and for SA Health and South Australian consumers. We have spoken with SA Health Chief Executive, Chris McGowan and are waiting for formal notification from the Minister, which Chris advised has been prepared. At this stage, all we know is what was in the Minister's announcement:
"With the establishment of 10 governing boards for the state's health networks, the focus of consumer engagement will shift to the Local Health Networks as governance is devolved to the boards. Accordingly, grant funding for the Health Consumers Alliance will be discontinued from 1 July 2019".
You can access the Media Release, the written letter of confirmation and the State Budget Context and Overview documents below.
UPDATE Government de-funding of HCA
Thank you for the overwhelming messages of support received from individuals and organisations across the state and nationally. We need your help to retain the independent voice of South Australian health consumers.
The HCA Board met last night. We have now received written confirmation of the announcement we first heard in the Budget lockup last Tuesday. You can view the letter below.
The letter says consumer and community engagement is now to occur through the new local governing boards, who ‘might choose to partner with HCA’. The boards are established 1 July 2019. The Minister’s funding ceases 30 June 2019.
We have asked to meet with the Minister. We have questions for him. HCA wants to know:
1. Why has the Minister decided to stop funding the independent voice of South Australian consumers?
2. When government support for independent consumer voice is growing around the country, why is the Minister removing funding for South Australian consumers?
3. Who will gather and report on state-wide perspectives on SA Health issues? And make sure the people who are often not heard, are heard?
4. Who will support state-wide patient organisations when there are persistent and damaging errors that are not being fixed within local health networks?
We will let you know in next week’s enews what answers we get.
You might want to ask your local member of parliament, the Minister, Premier and Treasurer some questions too.
We encourage you to contact your local member. Current details of each electorates member of parliament are available below. If you are unsure of your electorate you can find out the name of your electorate based on your suburb below.
Update: HCA De-funding
What have we been doing?
Over the last week HCA has met with both the Minister and Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing. We had the opportunity to ask the Minister about his decision and will publish the meeting notes once they are endorsed by the Minister.
We also attended the SACOSS Post Budget Breakfast with the Treasurer and had the opportunity to ask a question in relation to the decision to cease support of HCA from 1 July 2019.
HCA remains committed to working with SA Health to ensure that the consumer voice is heard at all levels across the health system.
What have you been doing?
Last week we encouraged you to approach your local member of parliament, the Minister, Premier and Treasurer with questions.
Some other questions you may want to ask could be: -
Given that the government has announced consumer and community engagement is now to occur through the new local governing boards, have the local LHNs received any additional funding for this purpose?
Your help in advocating for your independent peak consumer organisation is important in retaining the independent voice of South Australian Health Consumers.
We are compiling evidence about how having an independent consumer peak is important. Tell us how having HCA is important to you? Submit your quote here.
What does HCA mean to you?
Over the past week, HCA has continued discussions with Politicians and other key stakeholders emphasising the importance of ensuring consumers remain at the centre of health care in South Australia.
The defunding of HCA was tabled during last week's question time in the House of Representatives. You can view the transcript in relation to the de-funding of HCA below.
Many of you have responded to the question we posed in last weeks eNews..."What does HCA mean to you"? We have published some of your answers below:
''HCA supports consumers across a wide range of health issues and institutions''.
''HCA keeps me up to date with training opportunities, opportunities to participate in community consultations including health-related, YourSAy surveys, and a place to turn to for professional advice about my roles as a health consumer representative''.
''Without HCA I would not have the knowledge, skills, support, and access to opportunities that enable me to volunteer as an effective health consumer representative''.
If you have not yet shared your experience of HCA with us, we would love to hear from you. You can submit your thoughts here
HCA continues to meet with relevant SA Health staff to progress the transition to the new arrangments. We continue to emphasise the importance of ensuring consumers remain at the centre of health care in South Australia.
We thank the consumers who have copied us into the reponses received from your local MP’s in relation to the questions you have asked regarding the De-Funding of HCA. We will continue to gather these responses as well as the feedback on what HCA means to you. We will report on this summary in coming weeks. You can let us know what HCA means to you here.
We have set up a 2018/19 State Budget tab on our website. Here you will find all information and documentation in relation to HCA’s de-funding. You can access the page here.
We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to show your support for HCA by becoming a member. Membership is important to us, and assists us to achieve our mission – to engage consumers and health services to achieve quality, safe,consumer-centred care for all South Australians. You can find out more about membership here.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
24 - 27 March 2019
Everything you need to refresh your energy and passion for improving the health of people in rural and remote Australia is there; including:
Register here before 31 December 2018 to take advantage of the discounted Earlybird registration rate.