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.
HCA are reviewing the way we use social media and how to make sure you get the most out of the information we share and so we can gather your feedback and opinions. We want to know what you want to see on our social media and what engages you the most. Social media is a great way to inform and engage with the community and we think we could be using it better! We would really appreciate your feedback.
Please complete our one minute survey here to help us improve our social media engagement.
The March HCASA Board meeting recently confirmed our capacity to continue our work well into 2020. HCASA is here to stay. We had expected to call a Special General Meeting at about this time to ask our members to consider the organisation’s future. After careful consideration of our financial position, our capacity and the importance of our work we are instead scheduling the launch of our new business prospectus. This is planned for Monday 17 June, Save the date.
You will have read in eNews that we have moved our offices upstairs from level 1 to 3 at 12 Pirie Street. Our team continues to do an amazing job building a viable and sustainable business future. You’ll hear more about this on/after 17 June. We would not have been able to consider such an optimistic future without the pragmatic and moral support of our members, partners and supporters. Thank you.
We encourage organisations and individuals who believe in our vision of ‘consumers at the centre of health’ to make sure they have current membership of HCASA. As you know, we are a state-wide, member-based incorporated association with no political affiliations. We provide the information, training and services people, services and policy makers need to ensure consumers have a powerful influence on the health services that they pay for, use and expect to support the health and wellbeing of all South Australians. This work must and will continue.
Debra Kay PSM
Board Chair HCASA
On behalf of the HCASA Board and Staff Team
There have been some changes at the Health and Community Service Complaints Commissioner (HCSCC). On 18 March 2019, South Australia implemented the Code of Conduct for Certain Health Care Workers which replaced the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners. This change aligns South Australia with the National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers approved by the COAG Health Council. Unregistered health care workers who do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will have to comply with the code and display certain information where they practise.
The code establishes:
• A range of minimum standards for unregistered health care workers.
• Additional powers to the HCSCC if an unregistered health care worker is found to have breached the Code.
Law changes also came into effect that allow the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner to:
• Adopt prohibition orders imposed on individuals from across Australia.
• Investigate individual volunteers providing a health service.
• Restrict people who are subject to a prohibition order from advertising and promoting themselves as a health service.
• Issue a public statement to identify a person or warn the public when interim action has been taken.
You’ll also notice that the HCSCC has a new website, which the Health Consumer’s Alliance was consulted on. The new website is easier to navigate, provides clearer information and is consumer tested. Go check it out!
Cancer Voices SA - Raising a Voice for People Affected by Cancer Annual Report 2018.
In 2019 HCA will work with consumers, partner agencies and other stakeholders to develop more focused training modules for consumers on topics such as:
One of the changes of not having a core funding base is that we will now be charging for our training, including consumer training. Fees will be kept as low as possible, and opportunities for subsidised training will be made available to consumers who do not have the capacity to pay.
Back to eNews here
The Bleeding Edge Screening
When: Wednesday 1 May 2019 1.30pm to 4.30pm
Where: The Science Exchange, 55 Exchange Place, Adelaide
HCA are proud to host a screening of the award winning documentary, The Bleeding Edge.
The film looks at the $400 billion medical device industry and the profit-driven mind-set that rushes implanted devices into the marketplace without proper clinical trials. The screening will be followed by a panel and question and answer session. Afternoon tea will also be provided.
You can register for the event here.
Thursday 30 May 2019
The 2019 annual Choosing Wisely National Meeting will bring together policy makers, consumers and other health care stakeholders for an interactive discussion on the opportunities, challenges, and highlights of the Choosing Wisely initiative as it continues to grow. Early bird registration is open until Thursday 18 April.
Find out more and register here.
Wednesday 30 January 2019
10am – 12pm
HCA is hosting a focus group for the South Australian Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner (HCSCC). The focus group aims to gain consumer feedback on their current website to ensure it is user-friendly.
You can find out more and register here.
Back to eNews here.
Thursday 30 May 2019
The annual 2019 Choosing Wisely National Meeting will bring together policymakers, consumers and other health care stakeholders for an interactive discussion on the opportunities, challenges, and highlights of the choosing wisely initiative as it continues to grow. Early bird registration is open until Thursday 18 April. You can find out more about the meeting and the Choosing Wisely initiative here.