CHF has established Special Interest Groups (SIGs) as an additional way to involve our members and consumer representatives in shaping our policy and advocacy work. SIGs make it possible to bring in even more consumer insight and perspective.

SIGs are advisory to the CHF Secretariat, with decisions on final positions and statements remaining with the CHF Board. The SIGs do not meet face to face, and no sitting fees or reimbursement is offered to participants.

CHF has SIGs active in the following areas:

  • Digital Health
  • Mental Health Consumers
  • Primary Health Care
  • Research & Data
  • Rural & Remote Health.
  • Safety & Quality in Healthcare

In addition to these CHF has also established the Youth Health Forum and Australia's Health Panel as avenues for consumers to get involved.

Digital Health

Have you:

  • Accessed care via Telehealth?
  • Used My Health Record?
  • Used mobile health apps?

Do you have opinions on digital health? The CHF Digital Health Special Interest group is a space for people of any level of digital literacy or interest to have their voices heard on any issue regarding digital health.

Following the establishment of the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) in 2016, CHF has been working closely with them to represent consumers on a broad range of issues regarding digital health. As digital solutions to healthcare issues become more common, it becomes more important that the voices of consumers are heard. As such, we are expanding the membership of our Digital Health Special Interest Group, to more effectively represent consumers on digital health issues.

In order to ensure a diverse and representative range of voices, we are asking interested parties to submit an expression of interest, found here. If you have any questions please contact Daniel Weber at d.weber@chf.org.au

Mental Health Consumers

CHF established the Mental Health Consumer Special Interest Group to include the voices of mental health consumers and their carers in CHF's advocacy and policy work. The CHF Mental Health SIG adds a direct voice of lived experience to inform CHF policy and advocacy in mental health, and across illnesses and medical conditions where mental health is a factor or comorbidity. For example, consumers living with pain and chronic conditions often experience anxiety, depression or other mental illness.

The Mental Health Consumer SIG complements collaborations with member and other organisations, including consumer bodies such as the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum.

While SIG membership is generally open to all consumers, in setting up this SIG, to make sure that there is diverse representation across mental health conditions and demographics (age, sex, location, first language, heritage), and that there is representation by both direct consumers and carers, the founding members of the SIG were selected through an expression of interest process and were appointed for 12 months from September 2021.  A SIG review was conducted in late 2022, with an invitation for current members to continue and expressions of interest from other people/carers with diverse mental health needs and backgrounds, including diverse levels of English language and literacy skills.

Contact Tammy Wolffs at T.Wolffs@chf.org.au with any questions.

Primary Health Care

Strong primary health care is central to an efficient, equitable and effective health system. The Commonwealth Government has committed to the 10-Year Primary Health Care Plan and seeking wider Medicare reforms for a more coordinated, comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to primary health care in Australia. The Primary Health Care Special Interest Group informs CHF policy positions, advocacy and responses to proposed government measures.

Please contact Tammy Wolffs at T.Wolffs@chf.org.au if you are interested in joining the Primary Health Care SIG, .

Research & Data

How and why consumers can be involved in research is a growing area of interest for CHF. We are increasingly advocating on issues that intersect health research and policy and we are conducting more research projects of our own. We are interested in shaping the national policy discussion about how patient and public involvement in research is resourced, where it is placed, and improving the confidence and skills of the research community. We have a particular focus on exploring how to feature greater consumer involvement, and supporting consumers to become more involved in research. Consumers with any level of experience with research and data, from none at all to retired academic, are welcome to apply.

The Research & Data SIG is currently not accepting applications but you can submit an expression of interest at any time, to be contacted when vacancies arise. If you have any questions please contact James Ansell at J.Ansell@chf.org.au.

Rural and Remote

This was established to include the voices of rural and remote consumers in all CHF's policy and advocacy work. This SIG helps identify where improvements can be made and contributes to the cultural changes needed among health professionals, health managers, health services and the wider community for sustainable improvements in rural and remote health

Please email Tammy Wolffs at T.Wolffs@chf.org.au if you are interested in joining the Rural and Remote SIG.

Safety and Quality in Healthcare

The Safety and Quality in Healthcare Special Interest Group (SIG) was established to support CHF’s policy and advocacy work in improving health systems for all consumers – patients, carers and communities. 

  • Are you consumer representative or advocate in a health service?
  • Are you interested in improving the safety and quality of health delivery to consumers?
  • Do you have views about how health safety and quality risks can be reduced or practices improved?

Participating in the SIG offers consumers the opportunity to review and consult on government initiatives, identify and draw attention to areas for improvement, and support CHF’s policy development and advocacy work.

New members can submit an expression of interest. Contact Tammy Wolffs at T.Wolffs@chf.org.au with any questions.

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