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

Medicinal cannabis medicines can be prescribed for patients as a result of federal legislative changes which came into effect in November 2016.

Many prescribers and health professionals know little about the clinical application of medicinal cannabis for a number of reasons, including the scarcity of contemporary research in this area. Following systematic reviews by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and work across several Australian Universities to assess the clinical evidence for the use, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has published guidance documents to educate and inform health professionals who are interested in medicinal cannabis as a treatment option for their patients.  These cover five particular clinical areas; specifically multiple sclerosis, chronic non-cancer pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in cancer, epilepsy and palliative care. There is also an overarching summary document for both health professionals and patients providing information about side effects of medicinal cannabis treatment and general cautions.

SA Health continues to aid awareness and education for health professionals and consumers through the provision of up-to-date and balanced information. You can find out more about prescribing medicinal cannabis in South Australia, and links to other resources such as fact sheets here.

 

 

The Commonwealth Department of Health invited HCA and a broad group of consumer representatives to engage in the Medicinal Cannabis consumer consultation, held in Melbourne on Thursday 18 May 2017.

Information was provided on medicinal cannabis government policy, and recent regulatory developments.

The review of clinical evidence for efficacy of medical cannabis was presented and the development of draft clinical guidelines for clinicians for the use of medicinal cannabis was discussed. The regulatory systems for patient access and patient access schemes were also discussed. The consultation provided the opportunity to raise issues, and for concerned patient groups to ask questions.

Consumers led a discussion about what information they need now and how best this should be communicated in a timely fashion.
You can find more information on Medicinal Cannabis on the Office of Drug Control website here.

HCA is exploring the opportunity of having a similar forum.

SA Health is committed to ensuring South Australians have access to the optimal range of safe and effective treatments and services to promote the best health outcomes for patients and the community

SA Health recently undertook public and targeted consultation about patient access to medicinal cannabis in South Australia. This took into account the national legislative framework established by the Commonwealth to facilitate appropriate patient access to certain medicinal cannabis products for medical conditions where there is evidence to support its use.

Following the consultation a patient access pathway for medicinal cannabis has been developed which is aligned with the existing legislated requirements for Schedule 8 medicines (noting one medicinal cannabis derivative, cannabidiol, is a Schedule 4 product and can be prescribed as such). Under the pathway, patients in South Australia can be supplied medicinal cannabis products prescribed by their medical specialist and dispensed by a pharmacist.

A section 18A authority from the Drugs of Dependence Unit (DDU) is only required for treatment longer than 2 months, or before commencing treatment where the person is already prescribed a Schedule 8 drug (for a period exceeding 2 months) and for any person the medical practitioner reasonably believes to be dependent on drugs.

Medical practitioners should contact the DDU on 1300 652 584 to discuss the specific authority requirements or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Until medicinal cannabis products are registered medicines in Australia, Commonwealth approval is also necessary via the TGA (Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Phone: 1800 020 653)

Detailed information about the SA Health patient access pathway, the approval process, product information, evidence base and FAQs is available on the SA Health website here. 

Latest news

Farewell Ellen Kerrins

Last week HCA farewelled our Manager, Policy and Advocacy, Ellen Kerrins. Ellen has worked for HCA since 2015, during which time she played a central role in a number of significant areas of work for South Australian consumers. We thank Ellen for her contribution and work to ensure that consumers are at the centre of health in South Australia. Ellen's vibrant personality will be missed around our office, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

Nominations to the HCA Board

Closes: Monday 22 October 5.00pm


We are calling for nominations for the HCA Board of Directors. Nominations are sought in accordance with the HCA Constitution, a copy of which is available  here. 
Five director vacancies exist: three ordinary directors, and the positions of chair, and deputy chair. You may select to nominate for more than one position. Directors are appointed for two years. Meetings are held bi-monthly, currently scheduled on Mondays 4-6pm at HCA.

You can complete your nomination online here.

You can download a nomination form here.

Please note: Information provided by candidates will be used in the Board election papers sent to members prior to the AGM.

If you would like more information about the election process and the expectations of Board directors, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . You can view the HCA Board Code of Conduct policy here.

Note: You must be a financial member to nominate and be nominated, information about membership here

Sorry is a good first step

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 2018

Drop the Jargon Day

Drop the Jargon day will be held next Tuesday 23 October. It is a day to encourage professionals in Australian health, community services and local government to use plain language. When we use jargon, technical terms or acronyms, it is hard for people with low health literacy to understand and use information. Professionals can pledge and take part in activities at their workplace, to make it easier for people with low health literacy to get better information and outcomes from the services they use. You can find out more here.

EveryAGE Counts : Anti-ageism campaign

The EveryAGE Counts campaign and strategy is guided by a large body of existing evidence about the extent and impacts of ageism, as well as research commissioned into the attitudinal and behavioural drivers behind ageism, and effective ways to address these. Ageism is not benign or harmless. It is a big problem because it impacts on confidence, quality of life, job prospects, health, and control over life decisions. As a community, we can positively change thinking about ageing,
re-imagine getting older and set the foundations for current and future generations to age well. You can find out more about how you can make a difference here.


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Events

Conflicts of Interest workshop

Thursday 6 December 2018
9.00am – 1.00pm
Level 1/12 Pirie Street Adelaide

HCA is hosting a free workshop for health consumer or carer representatives, or advocates with an interest in learning about conflicts of interest in health care.
 
The workshop will be run by two internationally respected academics with expertise in this area, Professor Lisa Bero from the University of Sydney, and Dr Ray Moynihan, from Bond University.
The following will be covered (using plain English):

- Introduction to the scientific evidence about how sponsorship from drug companies and other industry groups affects medical education and research
- Introduction to accessible databases that can be searched to find out more about drug company payments to doctors and patient groups

This will be followed by a facilitated discussion about conflicts of interest.

Morning tea and a light lunch will be provided. The workshop will be evaluated and information relating to this will be sent via email to participants in the week prior to the workshop.
Contact HCA on 82314169 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information or to discuss support for transport.
Expressions of Interest (EOI) Close Thursday 22 November 2018.

You can register your EOI here.

Health Strategy 2019-2023 Workshop

Tuesday 6 November 2018
2.00 – 5.00pm
Adelaide

SA Health is seeking 20 consumers to attend their Health Strategy 2019 – 2023 workshop. The Health Strategy will specifically focus on South Australia’s health priorities for the next five years, but also look to adopt a longer term perspective to 2030.
The objective of this workshop is to seek your views on:

• How can future advances in health care delivery be utilised to help to address health system challenges?
• New directions in the culture of care - what alternative care / treatment options are available based on the needs of the patient?
The workshop will close at 5:00pm followed by an opportunity for networking along with light refreshments. Registrations are essential.

You can view the workshop flyer for more information below. 

You can register to attend here.

Strategy Workshop Flyer

Our Lives - Stories of Resilience

Wednesday 21 November 2018
6.00pm – 7.00pm
Adelaide

This event hosted by SAMESH will follow via film clip the lives of three local people living with HIV, as they navigate the changes to HIV treatment, prevention, and the law. The clips will be followed by a panel discussion with those featured, to discuss what it means to be a person living with HIV in 2018, and why it is more important than ever that HIV positive people are central to the HIV response. You can find out more and register here.

Building the Aboriginal Disability Service Sector Workshop

Friday 16 November
8.30am – 5.00pm
Adelaide

The First People's Disability Network Australia is hosting a workshop on building the Aboriginal Disability Services sector. The session will cover a wide range of topics focused on challenges and opportunities in building this service sector, and promoting job opportunities amongst the sector. This workshop is targeted to Aboriginal disability service providers, and Aboriginal people interested in employment opportunities and being a provider in the disability service sector. You can find out more and register here.

LASA National Congress

Sunday 28 – Tuesday 30 October 2018
Adelaide

Leading Age Services Australia’s (LASA) National Congress 2018 will lead the conversation on ageing transformed and the dawn of a new era in aged care. The congress is the largest aged services industry event in the Asia Pacific. There will be a series of interactive discussions which aim to shine that ‘first light’ on the ageing transformed terrain of new era thinking, and practices and models of aged services for the next generation and beyond. You can find out more and register here.


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