Australia on cusp of healthcare change: Robert Lippiatt

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Australia is on the cusp of a generational change in healthcare policy, driven by powerful external forces making governments rethink the way healthcare services are delivered, says Robert Lippiatt, Convenor of Australia’s Self Care Alliance and a speaker at ASMI’s conference on 11 November 2015.

In his plenary session, Lippiatt will explore how demographic changes such as an ageing population, increased sophistication and costs of diagnosis and treatment, and ageing and imminent retirement of the healthcare workforce, are forcing governments around the world to seek more sustainable models of healthcare.

“The generational change involves putting citizens in the centre and empowering them to take on more responsibility for their own health and welfare in consultation with health professionals rather than being passive recipients of health services,” Lippiatt says.

“It involves unleashing the power of the consumer,” he says. “The current model of healthcare delivery is disempowering as the consumer plays a passive role.

“The vast majority of people can do more than they are currently encouraged or permitted to do by the health system.

“Unleashing the power of the consumer involves encouraging people to do more for themselves, to set goals and own the care process. This requires easy ways for them to tap into the trusted information and support mechanisms they need to take on more responsibility and improve health outcomes.

Reorientation of the health system is necessary to transform the way health services are delivered, he says.

“We need to change the way health professionals interact with consumers and provide systems and tools to help them to do more. That means healthcare service providers need to rethink their services to ensure that consumers have greater capacity to make their own decisions and take an expanded role in their healthcare.

“Australia’s Self Care Alliance is bringing together individuals and organisations across the healthcare sector to formulate new models of healthcare. Mobilising the healthcare sector to speak with one voice about self care will help to bring about the generational changes required in our health system,” he says.

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