Putting the consumer first: Creating a consumer-centred health system for a 21st century Australia.

The report makes eight key recommendations:

  • To develop a National Vision for Australia’s Health 2025 through COAG that describes and commits to set the principles of consumercentred health care underpinned by regional plans for health system improvement and innovation developed by Primary Health Networks and Local Hospital Districts/Networks in collaboration with public and private providers and the community.
  • Involve consumers in the governance of all levels of healthcare and research.
  • Invest in empowering consumers to become more involved in healthcare design and delivery, and self-management of their health.
  • Make consumer-centred professional practice a core healthcare professional competency in healthcare education top grow skills in working with patients and as part of multidisciplinary teams.
  • Ensure that consumer experience drives the health system by routinely measuring patient experiences and outcomes, and making this information publically available to allow informed decision-making.
  • Enable innovation in healthcare while ensuring new approaches are evidence-based, developed collaboratively and fit-for-purpose.
  • Adjust drivers to create the right policy, infrastructure and incentives for change and to support consumer-centred care.
  • Develop a change management strategy to facilitate the implementation of a consumer-centred health system.

 

The recommendations, developed by consensus at a roundtable jointly hosted by The Consumers Health Forum of Australia and The George Institute for Global Health following a breakfast forum on ‘creating a consumer-centred health system’, provide a framework for future policy development in the area of consumer-centred healthcare. These align well with current trends in thinking in Australia around the role of innovation and how we create a sustainable health system; and provide a focus for immediate areas of reform, as well as longer term higher level themes.

 The Sydney Morning Herald has also published an op-ed on the report, which can be found here.