Category: Community Consultation

Consumer update on Sustainable Health Review workforce recommendations

Sustainable Health Review – update on health workforce issues

The Sustainable Health Review is a wide reaching and ambitious reform program. After an extensive consultation process the Review was published in 2019 and includes 30 recommendations, organised into eight enduring strategies.

Some of the work was paused as the health system responded to the COVID pandemic, but as we move towards living with COVID we’re starting to see action and progress on a number of the recommendations. You can see more about HCC’s involvement in this work at

Issues relating to the workforce and culture of the health system were included in the Review, and there are five recommendations that cover these issues.

Find out more about health workforce issues

Health Consumers’ Council hosted a consumer information session to share what we know about work that is happening as part of the Sustainable Health Review on workforce issues.

  • Click here to see the slides from that information session
  • Click here to view the Zoom recording of that information session

Consumers have their say

Health Consumers’ Council hosted two consumer consultations for the Department of Health on one of the recommendations on this topic on 26 July 2022.

Recommendation 26 – Build capability in workforce planning and formally partner with universities, vocational training institutes and professional colleges to shape the skills and curriculum to develop the health and social care workforce of the future.

You can view the post-its that were created as part of these online discussions

Session 1 – focus on regional perspectives

Click the links below to see the dot points for these topics


Session 2 – focus on metro perspectives

Click the links below to see the dot points for these topics


To be added to a mailing list to be kept informed about this work, contact Clare Mullen

(Last updated 29/07/22)


Health Services Act – Independent Governance Review

How does the way the WA Health system is managed impact consumers, carers and the community?

The Health Services Act 2016 introduced a new governance structure (how the health system is run and managed) to the WA Health system. The East, North, South, Country and Child and Adolescent Health Services (HSPs) as well as PathWest were created. There is now an Independent Review underway into that governance structure.

Click here to look at a PowerPoint we put together on the Review Click here to watch the presentation with the slides

Members of the Independent Review joined two consultation sessions held online and in person on Wednesday 4th May. At the sessions we focused the feedback sessions on the following:

  • consumer involvement
  • patient experience
  • emergency management
  • prevention and care in the community
Click here to read the report from the consumer workshops with the Review Panel

We also used that to inform our submission.

Click here to read HCC’s submission to the Review

The public consultation closed on 20 May. We know a number of people made their own submissions to the Review. We look forward to being able to share next steps with you as we find out about them.

Cosmetic Surgery – Survey closing 1 April

Currently, any medical practitioner in Australia may call themselves a surgeon or cosmetic surgeon, without completing specialist surgical training. Your feedback will help determine if this needs to change. If you have had surgery, particularly a cosmetic surgical procedure, please share your experiences in this anonymous survey.

Click here to complete the survey – it takes about 10 mins – closes 1 April 2022

This is a partnership project with the Health Issues Centre Victoria and the Health Ministers Meeting.



Health consumer stories driving positive change

COVID, consenting to medical research, cancer information, and promoting health

The first few weeks of 2022 have been a busy time in health in WA…

Preparing for and living with COVID

Those weeks have been a time for everyone at Health Consumers’ Council of intense listening to, sharing and advocating for more consumer voices in the planning and preparing the health system’s response to preparing to live with COVID.

In that time we’ve held three discussions with consumer leaders and representatives across WA to hear what was on people’s minds as they were preparing themselves, their families and their communities for living with COVID.

Key messages we heard were that there was a sense of fear in some parts of the community as people navigate the shift from “COVID is to be avoided at all costs” to “we are living with COVID”. We also heard that there was a lack of information for health consumers who have underlying conditions, or who are immunocompromised, and need to make additional preparations. And the third strong message was people’s concerns were not just for their health, but the social implications of COVID. For example, who can people rely on if they’re a carer and they get sick? How do people get access to care if they’re unable to leave the house? What should they be doing to make sure they can get access to the healthcare they need – and stay safe?

And finally, we heard a strong message from health consumers about the opportunity to help people feel more empowered and confident in their ability to prepare.

We’ve shared these concerns with health leaders including the Minister for Health, health service Chief Executives and the teams leading the COVID response at the WA Health Department and the WA Primary Health Alliance.

By the end of last week, we’d seen a couple of significant changes – South Metropolitan Health Service had published information on their websites for people who are immunocompromised, and some patients who are at a higher risk of developing severe disease if they contract COVID are receiving calls from their specialists to help them work out how they can prepare themselves and their families.

We also were able to get information about the new COVID Care At Home program out to over 110 people who registered for a community conversation with Dr Robyn Lawrence from the Health Department, as well as getting into out to the broader community via a mention in Renee Gardiner’s column in The West.

The next focus will be to keep getting the message out into the community – particularly to those groups where mainstream communication methods like websites and news media in English are not widely used.

The other focus will be on encouraging other people in the community to play their part in getting information out to the people who need it and to look out for their neighbours or family members who might value a bit of support. As one consumer who was quoted in the article in The West said “We are all in the same storm but the boats are so different it’s hard to hang out in the tinny with a hole in when others are in their yacht.”

And it’s not all about COVID… have your say!

As we finalise our preparations for living with COVID it’s important to remember it’s not the only health issue that’s important for the WA community. There are a couple of key consultations that are looking for consumer input:

  • What are your views about the issue of giving consent to treatment – particularly if you’re incapacitated?
    • The Guardianship and Administration Act Part 9E came into existence on 7 April 2020 “to enable medical research to be carried out in respect of persons who do not have the ability to consent  to it.” While it might seem a bit dry, it could make the difference between someone accessing cutting edge treatment that is part of a research program or not.
    • Find out more and complete the short survey by 25 February at
  • Have you or someone you know had cancer? What information was, or would have been, most helpful?

And finally – towards a healthier WA

This month we also made time to respond to the WA Department of Health’s consultation on the WA Health Promotion Strategic Framework. We called for a stronger focus on health inequities, the recognition of early childhood trauma on our longer term health, and encouraged a bold vision for a healthier WA that the whole community can buy into.

You can read our submission here

Clare Mullen, A/Executive Director
February 2022

Guardianship Act and Medical Research Consultation – what do you think?

The Guardianship and Administration Act Part 9E came into existence on 7 April 2020 “to enable medical research to be carried out in respect of persons who do not have the ability to consent  to it.” (From the Review’s Background Paper – click here to read)
The Review aims to review the operation and effectiveness of this amendment. While this is a complex and potentially dry topic to contend with, this act directly impacts West Australians who could be eligible to be included in health research. The Health Consumers’ Council and the Consumer and Community Involvement Program are therefore collaborating undertake a joint survey to provide a response to the Review. We invite you to respond via this survey and your responses will be included in our joint submission.
It’s important that your voice is heard in a space that has so far been driven by researchers and Government.
Or scan the code below: DEADLINE 25th FEBRUARY
You are also able to provide your own response Send your written submission by email or post (email is preferred) to:
Mail: Review of Part 9E Guardianship and Administration Act 1990
Strategic Reform Department of Justice
GPO Box F317 PERTH WA 6841
The report on the review will be tabled in Parliament by the Attorney General and may contain references to submissions received during the consultation process, including submitter details or content. If you would like your submission to be anonymous you will need to note this in your submission.
Pip Brennan, HCC A/Deputy Director –
Deb Langridge, CCIP Program Director –

Out of Pocket Medical Costs Finder tool

The Federal Department of Health are excited to invite you to attend the upcoming webinar about their initiative to reduce consumers’ out-of-pocket medical costs through the upcoming enhancements to the Medical Costs Finder. This is an existing website where users can discover better cost information for common non-GP medical specialist services across Australia. It is being improved and enhanced through this project.

Date: Tuesday, 17 August 2021
Time: 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM AEST (online) 10.30-11.30 AM AWST
Cost: Free

To RSVP email by Friday, 13 August 2021, they will then share the webinar link with you.


The Medical Costs Finder website provides general guidance on the costs of common specialist services by location. It is an initiative to address costs transparency and mitigate ‘bill shock’ from unexpected out-of-pocket medical expenses, by helping consumers better understand the fees associated with services commonly provided by medical specialists earlier in their health journeys.

Currently, the website shows general information on typical costs for common services both in and out of hospital, with 1,100 specialist treatments currently listed. The Federal Department of Health are working to enhance the website so specialists will be able to add their individual fees for common medical procedures and their arrangements with different private health insurers.

The enhancements to the Medical Costs Finder will provide consumers and referring doctors with greater information and choice when deciding on a medical specialist.

The upcoming one-hour webinar will take you through the proposed enhancements to the Medical Costs Finder and allow the opportunity for you to have any questions answered. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact them via email at: