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.