Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

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McKeon Review can’t become another missed opportunity

Date: 
Thu, 01/11/2012
Spokesperson: 
Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF)

 

Health consumers are the principal beneficiaries, and ultimately, the primary funders of medical research – it’s time they were treated as more than numbers or tests to be studied and recognised as partners in research,” according to Carol Bennett CEO of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF).

Ms Bennett was speaking following the release of the CHF response to the discussion paper from the McKeon Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research.

Ms Bennett said CHF’s submission calls for far greater consideration of consumers and makes recommendations to improve a number of the Review Panel’s proposed recommendations.

CHF calls on the Review Panel to recommend mechanisms to support active consumer participation in research, and a review of grant funding to enable greater community participation in research design, investigation and data collection. Consumers cannot be left out of Australia’s research future when the highly anticipated McKeon Review is complete,” Ms Bennett said.

Responses to a consultation paper containing issues and proposed recommendations from the Review closed yesterday, following an earlier call for submissions.

CHF has been heartened by the response to the McKeon so far, however, the consultation paper failed to even acknowledge consumers except as the subjects of health research,” Ms Bennett said.

The McKeon Review will shape national public policy and direction on research for years to come – it’s vital we get this right so time and money isn’t wasted on areas consumers don’t want or need.

In spite of increasing international recognition of the central role that consumers can play in health research, in the consultation paper consumers are still not being viewed as anything more than passive research subjects.

A number of other health, research and medical organisations have echoed CHF’s concerns about a lack of emphasis on consumers in both initial consultation documents and the consultation draft.

It’s simply not acceptable that the Review Panel has overlooked this call for change in how we view consumer participation in research.

Setting and aligning research priorities is critical to ensuring community demand is met – CHF submits that practical research should align to areas of consumer demand.”

A copy of CHF’s submission to the McKeon Review can be found here.

Media contact: David Shaw (0429 111 986)