Palliative Care Australia has released two new online resources to make it easier for people to record and share their care wishes and preferences at the end of life. The online Dying to Talk discussion starter kit and card game were officially launched in Canberra by the Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt during Palliative Care Week. The online card game includes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific deck to provide culturally appropriate options such as visiting or dying on country. You can find out more here.
SA Ambulance Service is the main provider of ambulance services in South Australia, receiving more than 400,000 calls each year. Services are being improved under Transforming Health, with new ambulance stations and extra frontline staff. Consumers are encouraged to review their ambulance cover, as recent changes have occurred in levels and pricings of cover. You can find out more below.
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and Healthdirect Australia have jointly launched the Question Builder, a free web-based tool to help people prepare for their medical appointment and make the best use of the time with their doctor. Question Builder guides you through a series of steps, from selecting which type of appointment you are preparing for, to developing the questions that you would like to ask, and helping you to prioritise the most important questions to ask first. These questions can then be printed or emailed to a phone/device for use during the appointment. You will find the tool here. Additional supporting resources and information about the Question Builder can be found on the Commission’s website here.
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has published the top tips for safe health care. It is designed to help consumers, their families, carers and other support people get the most out of their health care. The information in the booklet can be used when you talk to your doctor and other healthcare providers, including nurses, pharmacists, specialists, allied health and mental health workers. The publication is available below.
The Consumers Health Forum of Australia’s have released a statement reassuring consumers not to panic about locking in their preferred health fund before the 1st April 2017 when higher premiums take effect. In most cases consumers, should be able to change from one fund to another with one month’s notice without facing financial penalty. Consumers need not rush when deciding about their health fund. You can read the full statement here.
HCA in collaboration with the South Australian Medical Research Institute has published a paper on developing a framework for integrating consumer engagement in health and medical research. The purpose of the paper is to develop a workable framework for consumer and community engagement for a new medical research institute with broader application. You can read the full paper here.
Last Friday, 17 February 2017, HCA hosted a forum to inform consumers and the non-government sector about changes and priorities across the primary health, mental health and hospital health sectors, and to identify opportunities for engagement and collaboration. The forum was a success with 47 attendees. A report outlining the outcome and recommendations from the forum will be released in the coming weeks. You can view the speakers' presentation slides below.
Health Consumers is a support group on Facebook for members of the general public who use, or are potential users, of health services, including their family and carers. This group is specific to consumers in healthcare. Members are encouraged to share their experiences with the healthcare system, events and information that may be of interest to other Health Consumers. You can join the group here.