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Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF)

CHF is the peak organisation providing leadership in representing the interests of Australian healthcare consumers. We work to achieve safe, good quality, timely healthcare for all Australians, supported by the best health information and systems the country can afford.

Latest news

$6 billion reason to drive better deal for health consumers

1 February 2016 - 

The call by the Health Minister, Sussan Ley, for health funds to provide more information to justify their proposed premium rises is welcome and justifiable, and highlights the need for more robust competition between funds.

Hepatitis C funding reminds us of benefits of a universal health system

21 December 2015 - 

The $1 billion funding of an effective cure for Hepatitis C is great news for all Australians and particularly the 230,000 patients who live with the disease.

CHF Awards Honorary Life Membership to Ainslie Cahill

8 December 2015 - 

An outstanding contributor to the Consumers Health Forum, Ainslie Cahill, has been awarded Honorary Life Membership of CHF in recognition of  commitment to improving outcomes for all health consumers.

CHF chair, Tony Lawson, who nominated Ainslie at this week’s Annual General Meeting, said she had  led a large range of advocacy campaigns.  These included on behalf of those living with arthritis concerning the removal of joint injections from the MBS, the national harmonisation of disability parking, the Senate inquiry into consumer access to pharmaceutical benefits, and extensive representations to the packaging industry to influence the development of easy-to- open packaging and easy-to-read labelling.

Ainslie Cahill  joined the CHF Governing Committee in 2008, served as Chair of the CHF Constitution Subcommittee from 2008-2010, a critical role as she led the transition of CHF from an incorporated association to a company limited by guarantee, a move requiring a whole new governance framework.  “Ainslie Cahill is an inspirational consumer representative and contributor to the CHF network and has contributed many years of creative work on behalf of CHF and Australian health consumers,” Tony Lawson said.

Local care the way to go to fight addiction

6 December 2015 - 

The injection of $241 million into Primary Health Networks to provide a fresh, community-based response for prevention and treatment of drug and alcohol addiction is a positive recognition of the potential of locally-led health services.

Atlas on health care variations a chart to the future for consumers

26 November 2015 - 

The Atlas on Healthcare Variation launched today shows stark differences in treatment practices and represents a watershed for health care in Australia, bringing to light important evidence hitherto hidden from consumers.

MyCover reform to give consumers a fair go in health insurance

8 January 2016 - 

Consumers frustrated by the confusion and uncertainty of choosing the right health insurance policy will gain real buying power under a reform plan proposed by the Consumers Health Forum.

Pathology cuts a fresh barrier to care

15 December 2015 - 

Cuts to Medicare payments for pathology raise the prospect of a fresh cost barrier that could dissuade patients from undergoing important tests.

Psychiatry leader speaks of value of consumer advocacy

7 December 2015 - 

The poor health outcomes for many people with mental illness is “truly shocking”, Dr Kym Jenkins, President Elect of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, has told a CHF seminar.

In delivering the annual Christopher Newell AM Oration, Dr Jenkins said that for some people with particularly severe mental illnesses, life expectancy is reduced by up to 36 years, with people dying in their early 40s. She also highlighted the value of consumer advocacy, praising the willingness of people to speak out, often in difficult circumstances.

“The value of the contribution of consumer advocates in this and other fields, is immeasurable… There is no denying the culture of low expectations for people with mental illness. People receive poorer physical health care when it is thought that they suffer from a mental illness from practitioners across all areas of health. Challenging this, often unconscious stigmatising and discriminatory, behaviour when you encounter it is performing an important act for advocacy,” Dr Jenkins said.

Ending the poor relation status of mental health

26 November 2015 - 

Reforms to mental health services announced today provide welcome recognition of the need to meet the individual needs of patients with care that is comprehensive and provided locally.

Consumers Health Forum welcomes pharmacy review

25 November 2015 - 

The Consumers Health Forum welcomes the announcement by Health Minister, Sussan Ley, of the review of pharmacy remuneration and regulation. The review is vital given the rising cost and the potential expanding role of pharmacies.