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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

Greens respond to a chronic problem

27 May 2016 - 

Greens policy offers an achievable response to the modern epidemic of chronic disease
The Consumers Health Forum welcomes the Greens plan announced today to reinvigorate Australia’s ailing provision for the care of the chronically ill.
“This is an ambitious but achievable plan that would benefit millions of Australians living with chronic and complex conditions who currently cannot get the integrated care that should be standard in a prosperous country,” the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said.

Prevention 1st release on disease burden report

10 May 2016 - 

A preventive health alliance including the Consumers Health Forum  has called for all political parties to put prevention first in this election to reduce the rates of chronic disease.

The call comes as a new report released today finds 31 per cent of the nation’s disease burden could be prevented with a greater investment in health prevention.

The report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows that two thirds (66%) of the disease burden for Australia is from chronic diseases. And while the report shows the overall burden of disease has fallen between 2003 and 2011, it also indicates that the numbers could be much lower.

At least 31% of the disease burden can be prevented if governments would target five modifiable risk factors; tobacco use (9%), high body mass (5.5%), alcohol use (5.1%), physical inactivity (5%) and high blood pressure (4.9%). Prevention First spokesperson, Consumer Health Forum Chief Executive Officer, Leanne Wells, says the report makes clear that we can and should be doing much better.


Saving Medicare requires better chronic care

6 May 2016 - 

 

The Consumers Health Forum supports Labor’s call to make the election a referendum on Medicare as long as it means asking voters if they want universal access to quality health care preserved.

If the future of Medicare is to be protected, a central objective should be to ensure the development of strong and effective national measures for both the prevention and treatment of chronic disease which stalks modern Australia.

 “Australia’s political leaders should heed the message from health workers and consumers and throw their weight behind much-needed reforms to improve care for the millions suffering chronic and complex conditions,” the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said.


Patient Reported Outcomes to Accelerate Change

13 April 2016 - 

Leanne Wells, CEO of CHF, joined Sam Vaillancourt of St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada, and Dr Paresh Dawda of the Australian National University to give a presentation on Real People, Real Data, at the prestigous International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare in Gothenburg, Sweden.


Towards a 21st Century Vision: Consumers as makers and shapers in health care

8 April 2016 - 

A roundtable of over 35 health experts hosted by The George Institute for Global Health and CHF has called for a range of changes, including the development of a National Vision for Australia’s Health 2025 to set out the principles of consumer-centred health care.


Now is not the time to erode primary care, end freeze

17 May 2016 - 

The Consumers Health Forum calls on the Federal Government and the Opposition to lift the freeze on Medicare payments, to undertake a wide-ranging review of health costs and give new Health Care Home models of care the maximum chance of success.

The Federal Government’s deal with pathologists at the weekend should mean pathologists continue to bulk bill Medicare for the meantime – a win for healthcare consumers.

Both pathology and GP services – general practice more so -  are critical front line services vital to preventing ill health, managing chronic conditions and mental health early, and keeping people well and out of hospital.  


Health insurance deadline line looms and no sign of reform

9 May 2016 - 

Crunch time for thousands of young people comes the day before polling day.  That’s the annual deadline to sign up for health insurance and it comes as private cover is beset by frustration and confusion, the Consumers Health Forum says.

Australians who have turned or are about to turn 31 must take out health insurance by 1 July or face premium penalties rising by two per cent a year if they  sign up later in life.

“This is becoming an  increasingly fraught decision for people at this point in their lives given the steadily increasing cost of health insurance, and when they may already be saddled with HECS bills, high mortgages and a growing family,” the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said.

“Australians are already facing the prospect of rising out of pocket costs across the health sector with the risk of a breakout in GP and diagnostic gap fees and a $5 rise in the co-payment for prescribed medicines.


Consumers face battery of higher co-payments in Budget

4 May 2016 - 

Consumers face a range of increased out of pocket costs for frontline doctor care and medicines if measures in this and previous budgets pass a future Senate, the Consumers Health Forum says.
Tonight’s Budget will extract another $925 million by freezing Medicare rebates over the next three years, on top of the $1.3 billion already removed in previous years, increasing the pressure on GPs to drop bulk billing and charge gap fees.
The vote of a future Senate could also mean a range of fresh out of pocket costs, including a $5 rise in the co-payment for prescribed medicines and cutting of the $630 million in bulk billing incentives to pathologists and radiologists.

Landmark study should show way to better care for chronically ill

11 April 2016 - 

A landmark study of the fragmented primary health care system comes at a time when the Federal Government has announced trials of coordinated care for people with complex and chronic conditions, and as the new Primary Health Networks establish themselves as the central players in provision of chronic care services.


Chronic care reform a primary first step

31 March 2016 - 

The Consumers Health Forum welcomes the statement by the Prime Minister today for the initial trials of new approaches in primary care to bring better coordinated and more effective services to respond to the great and growing demands facing 21st medicine generated by chronic illnesses, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.