Phone: 08 8231 4169 | Email: info@hcasa.asn.au | Find HCASA on FacebookFollow HCASA on Twitter

Phone: 08 8231 4169
Email: info@hcasa.asn.au
Find HCASA on FacebookFollow HCASA on Twitter

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Consumers at the centre of health
in South Australia

Date: Friday April 5, 2019
Time: 9am-5pm
Location: Citadines on Bourke, Melbourne.

Tickets: http://tiny.cc/eventbritemeshforum

With the conclusion of the Senate Inquiry into transvaginal mesh and the subsequent response by the Federal Government, many among the general public assume that the tragedy of the mesh crisis has been addressed and future injury averted.


Thousands of mesh injured women would disagree, and the emerging crisis of injury related to hernia mesh suggests the worst may still be ahead. The National Forum on Mesh Implants is the opportunity for those who have been affected by mesh to have their collective voices heard and their concerns finally addressed.


The National Mesh Implant Forum is our opportunity to address the unfinished business of mesh.


Pelvic and hernia mesh-injured consumers and carers will have the chance to meet face-to-face with the TGA (Australia’s medical device regulator), health authorities from each state, policy advisors and clinicians across a broad range of relevant disciplines and to thrash out solutions to this ongoing crisis.


The forum will be held just weeks before a likely Federal election in May and provides a real opportunity to influence the health policies of all major parties and independents. With the right people in the room, this forum is a unique, national opportunity to bring about real change.
The event will include a series of concurrent, targeted workshops on harm prevention and treatment, device regulation informed consent and building a unified community response.

The forum will strive for four major outcomes:

1. Post-operation treatment pathways:
State health departments are at different stages of designing and implementing treatment pathways for mesh-affected consumers. Consumers will work alongside health officials at the forum, to compare state responses with a view to developing best-practice guidelines and to ensuring that treatment pathways consider not only the clinical impact of mesh but the economic and social costs.
Outcome: Co-designed national best practice guidelines for post-operative treatment and care.

2. Regulation and policy
Six months after the Federal Government’s response to the Senate Inquiry, the forum will evaluate progress. The workshop will also look more broadly at the systemic failures that enabled the mesh crisis to persist undetected for almost two decades. This includes device regulation, registration, adverse event reporting, credentialing, complaints processing, product withdrawal and regulation of device manufacturers.
Outcome: Scorecard on the Government’s response to the Senate Inquiry and a blueprint for reform.

3. Informed consent
75% of mesh injured consumers believe they were not informed of the potential risk of adverse outcomes and may have made different decisions had they been. The workshop will consider decision making tools could better enable informed consent based on a full disclosure of risks, benefits and options.
Outcome: to create a new, national standard on informed consent.

4. A unified community response
Pelvic and hernia mesh injured consumers and carers will come together at this workshop to consider affiliation between various mesh bodies and define relationships between states and federal jurisdictions.
Outcome: Creation of a unified response to the mesh crisis and the needs of mesh impacted consumers

The Forum is proudly convened by the Health Issues Centre and Health Consumers NSW, Health Consumers Queensland, Health Consumers’ Council (WA), Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia, Health Care Consumers (ACT), Health Consumers Tasmania.

To apply for suuport for travel please complete the EOI Consumer Travel Support Survey  

In 2017, Health Issues Centre Victoria (HIC) initiated a public investigation into the unintended injuries caused to thousands of women through the use of trans-vaginal mesh implants as the preferred treatment for pelvic prolapse and urinary stress incontinence. This research has led to far reaching reforms with changes to the information provided to women considering corrective measures, the establishment of care pathways for injured women and changes to the risk rating applied to mesh by the regulator of medical devices, the Therapeutic Goods Administration. HIC is now conducting a public consultation to identify other patterns of malfunction in medical devices and implants. This is a national consultation and the aim is to ensure that faulty devices are removed from the market, and that consumers who have suffered injury are provided with adequate care and remedy.

You can find out more on the HIC investigation here.

You can take the survey here.

HCA in collaboration with the Nation's state’/territory peak health consumer organisations have released a joint media statement in response to the Government’s response to the Senate inquiry into trans vaginal mesh and Minister Greg Hunts apology to women affected by trans vaginal mesh implants. You can view the release below.

Mesh media release October 18

The Therapeutic Goods Administrator (TGA) has launched a website hub for transvaginal mesh information. Transvaginal mesh is used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Some women have experienced serious complications from transvaginal mesh implants, and this has had a major impact on their lives. The web hub links to information on consumer support services, adverse event reporting, regulatory changes, the Senate Inquiry into transvaginal mesh, and other topics. For more information, please contact the TGA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1800 020 563.

You can visit the website here.

HCA’s Chief Executive, Julia Overton was invited to attend a morning tea held in SA Parliament House and hosted by the Pelvic Mesh Awareness Group. The morning brought people with lived experience together with members of parliament, industry experts and SA health. Thank you to the mesh affected women who attended and shared their experiences with us.

There is a SA Health Transvaginal Mesh Strategy in place now which includes:

- a free consumer support line 1800 666 374, staffed 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday
- establishment of The Consumer Advisory Group
- distribution of information via GP newsletters
- commencement of medical record audit
- establishment of The Executive Advisory Group and Clinical Reference Group.

You can find out more here

Pelvic mesh has been used in the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence since the ‘90s and the majority of women who have had surgical treatment continue to have a good long-term outcome; however, some women have experienced complications. As a result the State Government has established a contact line for women concerned about the safety of pelvic mesh. SA Health has established a governance framework to support affected women & clinical referral pathways are being developed. Consumers can be directed to the Pelvic Mesh Consumer Support Line 9 - 4 Mon-Fri via 1800 66 MESH (1800 666 374). You can find out more here.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care hasfinalised a number of resources and guidance documents to improve health care for women considering the use of transvaginal mesh for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI), and for removal of transvaginal mesh. Find out more here.

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Latest news

Board Communique March 2019

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

New Code, laws and website for the HCSCC

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.

To read the HCSCC’s news release, click here. To read more about the code of conduct, click here.

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!

And remember you can like the HCSCC on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. If you would like to receive their newsletter, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

HCA Training 2019

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

2019 HCA Update

This year HCA is moving from weekly to fortnightly eNews, with more regular updates on our website and across our social media. If you would like to provide your feedback on the changes we would love to hear your input. You can email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 8231 4169. It was an incredibly busy year for HCA in 2018, with the development of new training modules, and a variety of HCA consumer engagement events that provided opportunities for consumers to be informed and have their say on a variety of issues. 2019 is shaping up to be another busy year as we move toward a new way of working as a result of last year's budget announcement that our core funding from SA Health will cease effective 1 July 2019. Stay tuned for further updates on the activities of the HCA team.

If you have an item you believe would be of interest to HCA eNews subscribers, please email the details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Back to eNews here.

The Third Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation

The Third Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation, released 11 December 2018, investigates healthcare use in four clinical areas: paediatric and neonatal health, cardiac tests, thyroid investigations and treatments, and gastrointestinal investigations and treatments. It also examines national patterns in medicines use over time for four common groups of medicines: antipsychotics, opioids, antimicrobials and medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A more detailed exploration of these data will be published in 2019.

Find out more here

Back to eNews here


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Events

2019 Choosing Wisely Australia National Meeting

Thursday 30 May 2019

Melbourne

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. 

Health & Community Services Complaints Commissioner Website Focus Group

Wednesday 30 January 2019

10am – 12pm
HCA Adelaide

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. 

2019 Choosing Wisely Australia National Meeting

Thursday 30 May 2019
Melbourne

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.


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