Page 4912 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 27 November 2018

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I wish all of the people of Canberra rest; I wish them a sense of joy; I wish them the opportunity to gather with those who they love and to have the space to remember those who they have lost. I look forward to continuing the work in 2019 so that all people can be valued, can belong and can have the opportunity to participate.

Health Care Consumers Association

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Higher Education, Minister for Medical and Health Research, Minister for Transport and Minister for Vocational Education and Skills) (6.51): A significant milestone has been reached this year by the Health Care Consumers Association. This year HCCA celebrates 40 years of consumer health advocacy in Canberra.

The ACT government has enjoyed a long and positive working relationship with HCCA. Our constructive partnership is underpinned by an understanding that everyone at the table wants a health system that is of the highest quality and value for money.

Over four decades HCCA has supported consumers to have their voice in the design, delivery and improvement of health services in the ACT. This is vitally important because we need to hear from those at the centre of the health experience. One thing all world-class health systems have in common is the way they incorporate consumers into the design, delivery, planning and review of health services, which leads to better outcomes for patients.

How people want to experience health care and how we improve their stay in hospital, and indeed how we can prevent them from needing hospital in the first place, is at the core of what we need to know from consumers. Consumer input provides unique perspectives into how we can better understand the needs of our community in using our health services. HCCA have been pivotal in seeking that valuable feedback and insight over many years. They have achieved this through participation in committees and through consultation with consumers when needed. The importance of this interaction cannot be overstated.

The HCCA has been involved in more projects than I can list here today, so I will give members a snapshot: working with consumers to contribute to the design and operation of community health centres and walk-in centres; part of health services clinical review processes and the reviewing of adverse incidents in health care; supporting evaluations of health services against consumer needs, such as the obesity management service, the way back support service, and home-based palliative care; providing health literacy information seminars to community groups, seeking consumer input into specific health service issues and projects, and supporting consumer representatives on over 100 health services committees in the ACT.

They have actively engaged recently with ACT Health in the delivery of a number of important pieces of work, including the quality and safety strategy and the draft territory-wide health services framework, as well as sustained engagement to provide consumer input into the design and operation of the University of Canberra Hospital, including participation in over 300 meetings prior to its opening.

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