The Consumers Health Forum’s Shifting Gears Summit last week saw over 800 delegates taking part in an energised discussion about the importance of consumer participation in transforming and improving health services.
Consumers spoke up about the need for greater engagement at all levels of health service: from planning to delivery, research and management.
They want a healthcare system where patient input isn’t just box-ticking a questionnaire but full partnership, with consumers engaged in every aspect of health delivery and with the conversation moving from what can medical science do to what do you want, why and will it make your life better?
The international virtual gathering, with representatives from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Canada, sparked spirited debate on moving consumers to the very heart of health service planning, with co-design and the power of digital technology highlighted as two critical tools to empowering consumers.
CroakeyVoices spoke to a range of delegates about the opportunities and challenges ahead:
- Vincent Dumez: Codirector of the Centre of Excellence on Partnership with Patients and the Public at University of Montreal
- Kellie O’Callaghan: Consumer advocate. Past chair of a regional health service and involved in a range of state and local health-focused boards and committees
- Craig Cooper: Consumer advocate and member of the NSW Health Clinical Excellence Commission Consumer Council
- Rosemary Ainley: Editor of CreakyJoints Australia and co-leader of the Young Women’s Arthritis Support Group
- Kelly Foran: Founder Friendly Faces Helping Hands Foundation and consumer advocate
- Roxxanne McDonald: Consumer Health Forum Board Director and YHF Young leader.
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