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Industry Update

A new Australian Patient Advocacy Alliance to drive health policy reform

A group of Health Consumer Organisations (HCO) representing patients with chronic disease has been formed to lobby the federal government to do more for patients living with ongoing conditions. The Australian Patient Advocacy Alliance (APAA) consists of 22 Australian HCOs representing 15 million Australians that decided to work together and have representatives of the alliance representing everyone rather than have 22 HCOs trying to do the same thing. The APPA’s purpose is to unite HCOs to drive reform that ensures consumers have a seat at the policy making table.  The media release published on 5 December 2019 outlines APAA’s five key recommendations to government:

  1. Ensure a diverse range of patients have a seat at the policy-making table.
  2. Fund a feasibility study to consider establishing a national system to capture patient-reported experience measures (PREMs) and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) to drive better clinical practice and patient outcomes.
  3. Review and update the performance measures used in Australia’s National Health Agreement to modernise and improve patient-centred outcomes.
  4. Commission an independent review of Australia’s Health Technology Assessment system – with consumers at the centre of the inquiry.
  5. Fund the development of a white paper to identify the opportunities where artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can be deployed to support better health outcomes. 

We will keep you informed as more information becomes available.

Australian Self-Care Alliance

The term self-care describes the range of ways in which individuals care for their own health and the ways in which these could be supported in future. It encompasses a breadth of activities that contribute to disease prevention and overall health and wellbeing, including self-management by people with established chronic conditions.

The Mitchell Institute (MI) for Education and Health Policy at Victoria University is one of the country’s leading education and health policy think tanks and trusted thought leaders. MI are currently undertaking work commissioned by several organisations that have an interest in promoting self-care in Australia and are working collaboratively as the Australian Self-Care Alliance. Members of the Alliance comprise Consumer Healthcare Products Australia (CHPA), The Hospitals Contribution Fund of Australia Ltd (HCF), Medicines Australia and The Pharmacy Guild, and the group aims to expand further through engagement of relevant not-for-profit organisations and industry. The work of the Alliance is supported by the National Mental Health Commission.

Over the course of last year, the MI, supported by the Australian Self-Care Alliance, have undertaken a broad program of work focused on self-care in Australia. This has included the development of a policy issues discussion paper, hosting a self-care policy roundtable on International Self-Care Day (July 24th), and developing a Self-Care Policy Blueprint (due to be published early this year). This work builds on a report completed by the MI health policy team in 2018, titled The State of Self-Care in Australia. The various pieces of work undertaken last year will culminate in the hosting of a National Summit on Self-Care and Health on 24 March 2020 in Canberra at Parliament House.  For more information please visit the Australia Self- Care Alliance website.

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