HCCA Priorities for Investment for ACT Election 2020
As the peak consumer organisation in the Canberra region we have identified ten priorities for advocacy in the ACT Election 2020. These priorities have been developed in 2020 with our membership.
Consumer-Centred Care Position Statement
Consumer-centred care meets the physical, emotional and psychological needs of consumers, and is responsive to someone’s unique circumstances and goals.
Consumer-centred care tells consumers, carers and families what they can expect from healthcare providers and the health system.
HCCA’s commitment to consumer-centred care
HCCA’s research shows that consumers highly value care that is consumer-centred, but this is not consistently experienced in local health services.
HCCA commits to consumer-centred care as a foundation principle in all its work and to promoting consumer-centred care across the health system, within government and across the ACT community.
HCCA also commits to enabling all people living in the ACT to achieve the best health and wellbeing possible, whatever their circumstances.
Co-design Position Statement
The Health Care Consumers’ Association (HCCA) supports co-design as integral to the development, implementation and evaluation of health services, policies and programs. It also reflects the intent of Standard 2 of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards, Partnering with Consumers. Co-design is a valuable form of consumer participation because consumers are involved as equal partners. This helps to ensure that services, policies and programs are of high quality, and meet consumer needs and expectations.
This position statement sets out HCCA’s:
- Understanding of co-design,
- Commitment to co-design, and
- Expectations of agencies who use or fund co-design
Health Literacy Position Statement
The health literacy level of many Australians does not permit them to access, interpret, communicate and use health information. This can affect their access to effective health care and health improvement activities.
As a health promotion charity, Health Care Consumers’ Association of the ACT Inc. (HCCA)
- supports the Australia Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) definition of health literacy,
- acknowledges that some health consumers may need support while they gain the skills and confidence to improve their health literacy, and
- undertakes to become a health literate organisation.
HCCA’s Commitment to health literacy
HCCA will work
1. with consumers and health services providers to identify their information and training needs
2. to build the capacity of consumers, carers and community members in a number of ways, including the development of resources, delivery of information sessions and skills based workshops
3. with staff of health services to enhance their ability to communicate clearly to meet the needs of consumers and carers.
4. with staff of health services to standardise the development and provision of health information
5. with the ACT Government and local health services to develop and implement policies, training programs and systems to improve the health literacy of people living in Canberra and its surrounds
6. to become a health literate organisation.
Consumer Participation in Research Position Statement
Health Care Consumers’ Association (HCCA) supports consumers who want to participate at all stages and at all levels of research. Consumer participation in health, medical and social services research ensures that consumer priorities are better understood by researchers, decision-makers and the public.
Consumer participation in research is important. The very involvement of consumers in research helps make it seem a normal part of research. It also demonstrates the value of including consumers in decisions and research that affects them.
Consumers have the right to be involved in research. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of Australian researchers and research institutions to encourage and support consumer involvement in their research. ,
HCCA’s commitment to consumer participation in research
HCCA will support consumers who wish to participate in research.
Where HCCA undertakes research, it will accord with its Consumer-Based Research Framework.
HCCA will help build the capacity of other organisations who involve consumers in research.
What are the benefits of consumer participation?
Research in which consumers are meaningfully involved is more likely to
- be relevant to community needs,
- deliver greater public awareness of research findings, and
- deliver better health outcomes.
Consumer participation in research benefits consumers because it raises the public and research profile of people’s lived experiences of health care.
What does ideal consumer participation in research involve?
Health, medical and social research is improved when consumers are engaged at all levels and all stages of the research. Ideally, consumers are not just research participants. They are also involved in conducting and governing research. Consequently, consumers are involved from the early stages of deciding what and how to research, through undertaking the research, to disseminating the findings and deciding what to do next.
Climate Change and Health Position Statement
As a health promotion organisation, the Health Care Consumers’ Association of the ACT Inc. (HCCA) recognises that climate change presents profound risks to health. Climate change will affect the health of many people in many nations, and will affect some people more than others. For example, rising temperatures increase the risk of heat-related death and illness and broaden the distribution of some communicable diseases, particularly those that are water borne and/or vector borne. Changes to rainfall bring droughts and floods, which can result in disease and death. Food production changes can lead to hunger and malnutrition in vulnerable populations. Research shows that ‘some population groups are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of climate change, whether because of existing socioeconomic inequalities, cultural norms, or intrinsic physiological factors. These groups include women, young children and older people, people with existing health problems or disabilities, and poor and marginalised communities.’
In recognition of the health impacts of climate change, HCCA acknowledges that:
- Climate change can cause serious and irreparable harm to the environment and human health. Urgent action by governments and corporations in cooperation with the community is essential to mitigate climate change and to adapt where necessary. We endorse Australia adopting a carbon emissions reduction target of 50% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 as proposed by the Public Health Association of Australia and the Australian Climate and Health Alliance.
- People and our health must be central to climate change policy and action. People need good health, a good environment and a strong community to flourish. A Climate Change policy should ensure that these basic human needs are met. It must reduce the risks to our health that climate change presents, build social cohesion and ensure food and water security for all people.
- Concerns about climate change may result in uncertainty, stress and mental ill-health. Assistance for people with jobs in industries which will need to change is an important structural adjustment strategy, specifically including retraining and relocation. Resilience and hope are key human resources and supporting access to mental health services is also important in a time of change.
- Climate change mitigation and adjustment strategies can deliver positive health outcomes. The community should be made aware of the negative health impacts of climate change and the potential positive health outcomes from climate change mitigation and adaptation.
- Addressing climate change requires connected solutions. The inter-relationships between infrastructure design, health and climate policy must be acknowledged and addressed. Solutions must be developed co-operatively and transparently by government, business, academic and other institutions in partnership with communities.
Last updated: 21/6/2021