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.
Unshackle public hospitals from “archaic practices”, says Minister
16 April 2014 -
The Health Minister, Peter Dutton, has foreshadowed drastic changes to the public hospital sector suggesting they can no longer be “shackled by archaic practices”.
Mr Dutton makes the comments in an article for the Consumer Health Forum’s Health Voices journal published today, Wednesday, April 16.
The journal’s special issue has commissioned leading health system experts and others to give their ideas on how to drive better value for the $160 billion Australians spend on health services and products each year.
Consumers Shaping Health April issue out now
2 April 2014 -
Means Testing would erode health system
17 March 2014 -
Mean-testing patients to assess whether they should be bulk billed would further erode the principle of universal access to health care, expose the chronically ill to more costs and drive up overall health care expenditure, the Consumers Health Forum says.
“Today’s Fairfax poll results show that a slim majority of Australians say they would support a Medicare means test to limit bulk billing. CHF would caution against such a step,” says CHF spokesman, Mark Metherell.
“Many Australians may only have to see their doctor once or twice a year, so a co-payment may seem minor. But those who depend heavily on accessible health care because of chronic conditions, families with sick children and the elderly would pay the consequences.
Statement on Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority
12 March 2014 -
The Consumers Health Forum supports the Health Minister’s decision to dismantle the Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority if it means speeding up the listing of medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
“It appears the removal of the PBPA of itself should not impact negatively on the listing process,” says CHF spokesman, Mark Metherell.
“However the measure does remove a consumer representative from the overall PBS pre-listing process which we believe would be rectified by ensuring there is stronger consumer input on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
“Strengthening the consumer voice on the PBAC would be achieved by appointing a second consumer representative to the PBAC and enhancing the consumer submission process, by such measures as making provision for the PBAC to hear from patient groups directly,” Mr Metherell said.
CHF releases new report on Co-payments
4 March 2014 -
A new report about health co-payments has been released today by the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF). CHF says the evidence shows that introducing co-payments for health care will hit the chronically ill and people on low incomes the hardest … and will fail to generate cost savings for the health system.
New CHF CEO Adam Stankevicius says CHF is responding to the call by the Health Minister, Peter Dutton, for a national conversation on making health care sustainable. “CHF wants to ensure any changes are evidence-based and are not at the expense of those most in need of care,” Mr Stankevicius said.
The release of the new report has gathered media interest, with articles sharing consumer stories and evidence on ABC, the Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, the Herald Sun, Radio National and broad national and regional coverage through radio interviews. Health Minister Peter Dutton and Opposition spokeswoman Catherine King have also responded to the report.
Consumers Health Forum welcomes report into getting better value in public hospitals
14 April 2014 -
The potential for Australia’s public hospitals to meet accelerating costs by better exploiting the untapped skills of their clinical staff, has been shown by a new report from the Grattan Institute.
The report “Unlocking skills in hospitals: better jobs, more care” produces important evidence showing that Australian public hospitals can go a long way in unleashing existing capacity with their services without dramatic and unsustainable increases in the cost of care, says CHF Chief Executive Officer, Adam Stankevicius.
Health co-payments idea to get reality check
25 March 2014 -
Health care costs loom as a central issue for the federal budget and the Consumers Health Forum welcomes a Senate inquiry into why Australians already pay so much out of their own pocket in health bills.
“Before the Government takes any steps to increase health costs for patients, CHF hopes it will take note of the evidence of the financial burdens facing many consumers, particularly those with chronic conditions,” said CHF CEO, Adam Stankevicius.
“We support the initiative by Greens Senator Richard Di Natale in proposing this Senate committee inquiry to investigate out-of-pocket health expenditure and the sustainability of universal health care in Australia.
Drug resistant infections: let’s have the figures
13 March 2014 -
The Consumers Health Forum has called for the release of figures showing the rate of drug-resistant antibiotic infections in Australia’s hospitals.
“The World Health Organisation has described antibiotic resistance as one of the biggest threats to human health today,” says CHF spokesman, Mark Metherell.
“The National Health Performance Authority today (Thursday March 13) publishes the latest figures on bloodstream infections caused by staphylococcus aureus in Australia’s biggest hospital.
“However it has not been able to give the rate of infections which involve antibiotic resistance for individual hospitals."
CHF welcomes Minister Dutton’s latest conversation on Medicare changes so long as co-payments remain off limits.
6 March 2014 -
The Consumers Health Forum has welcomed signs the Health Minister Peter Dutton is open to other kinds of Medicare payment systems besides fee for service.
“We welcome any form of payment to doctors that achieves better health outcomes for patients, particularly those with chronic and complex conditions. But we don’t think consumer co-payments should be part of this,” said the CEO of CHF, Adam Stankevicius.
“The problem with the fee for service system that Medicare currently finances, is that it rewards patient throughput but not health outcomes. Mr Dutton’s opening up of the conversation on blended payments which can be targeted at improving coordination and quality of care signals a worthwhile rethink of Medicare payment systems that is well overdue,” Mr Stankevicius said.
Expression of Interest for the Board of CHF
24 February 2014 -
Following the resignation of our former Chair, Karen Carey, The Consumers Health Forum of Australia Ltd (CHF) is seeking expressions of interest from appropriately skilled persons to fill a casual vacancy on the Board.
CHF is the national voice for health consumers. As an independent non-government organisation, CHF helps shape Australia's health system by representing and involving consumers in health policy and program development. CHF member organisations reach millions of Australian health consumers across a wide range of health interests and health system experiences.
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