Migrants with strong connections overseas have a different view of COVID

September 2021

Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) member, Hamza Vayani speaks with the Consumers Health Forum of Australia about Migrants with strong connections overseas have a different view of COVID and how communities are at the heart of Australia’s COVID response.

Debra Letica discusses health literacy on NPS MedicineWise podcast

July 2021

Health consumer advocate and CAG Co-Chair, Debra Letica recently joined NPS MedicineWise CEO, Adj. Associate Professor Steve Morris and Consumer Health Forum CEO, Leanne Wells on a podcast discussing new survey results on health literacy and the importance of empowering consumers to ask questions about their health care.

Listen to the podcast Episode 30: New survey results shine a light on health literacy in Australia.

Making Health Better Together

July 2021

In July 2020, the Consumer Health Forum established the Consumer Commission: Beyond COVID-19 to contribute views and ideas about the future of Australian healthcare. Debra Letica and Melissa Cadzow were among the consumer leaders in the Commission, and are also members of the Consumer Advisory Group.

In late 2020, the Consumer Health Forum launched Making Health Better Together (PDF), a report developed by the Consumer Commission to “conceptualise what consumer-centred health and social care can look like into the future and how we can get there”.

Opening the door to accessible healthcare

June 2021

Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) member, Hamza Vayani speaks with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency on their podcast, Taking care: A podcast of conversations about public safety and health care, exploring access to healthcare from the point of view of a consumer.

CAG member appointed to the COVID-19 Expert Reference Group (ERG)

October 2020

Hamza Vayani

Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) member, Hamza Vayani, has recently joined the ERG as a member.

Hamza will represent the consumer perspective in the group that includes a wide range of specialists from infectious diseases, public health, occupational and environmental medicine, geriatrics, paediatrics, clinical pharmacology and respiratory medicine.

The ERG meets fortnightly to discuss advocacy priorities, review government advice on COVID-19 and identify resources to share with members.

Mr Hamza is also a member of the RACP College Council.

2020–2021 Work Plan

October 2020

The 2020–2021 Work Plan was approved by the Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) Board in their September 2020 meeting.

The 2019–2020 Work Plan was revisited and updated. The new Work Plan aims to continue to increase awareness for the consumer view in the College’s work and the use of the CAG as a resource for College projects.

The final 2020 CAG meeting is on 22 October. The CAG will implement the Work Plan and report progress to the RACP Board.

The Consumer Advisory Group welcomes Bradley Rossiter OAM

October 2020

In September 2020, Bradley Rossiter OAM joined the Consumer Advisory Group.

Brad is a very active consumer representative on several local and regional committees. He chairs the Eurobodalla NSW Health Service Community Representative Committee and is a member of the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC), NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI), Consumer Health Forum (CHF) Rural and Remote Special Interest Group, Kidney Health Australia Consumer Council, Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) Community Engagement Group, Donate Life ACT Awareness & Steering Committee and the Canberra Hospital Renal Advisory Meeting (RAM). 

Bradley Rossiter and David Hurley Bradley Rossiter with General David Hurley, Governor-General of Australia receiving his Order of Australia Medal.

Among many awards and accolades, this year Brad received an Order of Australia Medal for his achievements. Brad has been living with Type 1 Diabetes since the age of 5, causing loss of sight and the amputation of both legs below the knee. Eventually diagnosed with renal failure, he has since received a kidney and pancreas organ transplant.

In Brad’s words, “I enjoy life and am getting on with it. I’m also a floorboard cracking dancer and a chandelier shattering singer.”

New co-chair appointed

July 2020

Debra LeticaDebra Letica has been announced as a co-chair of the Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) in July 2020. Debra has been a member of the CAG since its inception in May 2018. She serves as a consumer representative in a number of RACP Committees including the College Policy and Advocacy Committee, Congress Planning Committee, Integrated Care Committee and Gender Equity in Medicine Working Group.

Debra is also an active member of the Pharmacy Registration Board of WA, NPS MedicineWise Choosing Wisely Advisory Committee, WATAG and WA Primary Health Community South Committee.

Debra will serve as the consumer co-chair alongside Professor Nicholas Buckmaster for the next term.

Sheldon Ngatai joins the Consumer Advisory Group

May 2020

Sheldon NgataiIn May, the RACP Board approved the appointment of Sheldon Ngatai as a member of the Consumer Advisory Group.

Sheldon has 10 years’ experience and understanding as a Consumer Advisor, bringing with her a strong cultural perspective and extensive governance skills. She is currently involved in the strategic planning and implementation of services throughout all 20 District Health Boards within Aotearoa New Zealand. Her greatest achievement and involvement to date has been in the development of the Cancer Nurse Coordinator role, Faster Cancer Treatment, Psychosocial Oncology services and Hand Hygiene. Sheldon herself overcame breast cancer 11 years ago.

Read an introduction from Sheldon.

Strengthening the consumer voice across the RACP

October 2019

On 3 October, the Consumer Advisory Group held its last meeting for 2019 with a face-to-face workshop facilitated by Health Consumers NSW.

RACP staff and RACP Committee consumer representatives discussed the 'CAG roles and responsibilities; strengthening the consumer voice across RACP' and 'Vision Exercise - what does 2025 look like?'

Topics included:

  • RACP staff, member and Board awareness and skills in consumer engagement
  • consumer orientation, training and support
  • consumer engagement project infrastructure
  • funding
  • diversity of representation and community connectedness
  • consumer-informed patient centre care
Consumer Advisory Group 2019 Workshop

The Group looks forward to continuing to work with members of the RACP Committee and staff as it considers incorporating the workshop’s output into the 2020 Work Plan.

The Consumer Advisory Group joins Congress

September 2019 

Melissa Cadzow, Debra Letica and Hamza Vayani are joining the 2020 Congress Planning Committee as co-representatives for the Consumer Advisory Group.

They will be participating in the planning meetings to provide input from consumer and patient care perspectives in shaping the themes and speakers for the Congress. 

RACP Congress 2020 

The Group looks forward to reporting the progress of their contribution.

Consumer input into RACP submission on the Ethical Principles of AI in Medicine

September 2019

Members of the Consumer Advisory Group and consumer members of the Ethics Committee provided valuable perspectives and input to inform the RACP submission to The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists' (RANZCR) Ethical Principles for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine. This RANZCR document seeks to guide the development of professional and practice standards regarding the research and deployment of machine learning systems (ML) and artificial intelligence tools (AI) in medicine.

Consumer input outlined in the RACP submission focused on strengthening the original draft's focus on patient consent, patient preferences and the importance of discussions with patients. We are pleased that many of these suggestions have been reflected in the RANZCR's Ethical Principles for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine released on 30 August 2019 and that this document places a strong emphasis on the need for AI and ML to 'at all times reflect the needs of patients, their care and their safety'.

A healthcare consumer's insight

July 2019

RACP Quarterly June 2019

In the latest RACP Quarterly, Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) members Deb Letica and Hamza Vayani talk about their experience at the RACP Congress in Auckland.

Deb shares, ‘By convening the Consumer Advisory Group, the RACP is shining a light for all other medical training colleges across Australia and New Zealand at the importance of engaging with consumers and carers in the design and delivery of healthcare.’

Read the full article in RACP Quarterly June 2019

Consumer input into Chronic Care Management

July 2019

Debra Letica

A strategic priority for us is integrated care. The integration of health services across hospital, community and primary healthcare settings is crucial to the quality of care and better health outcomes.

Debra Letica, of the Consumer Advisory Group, has been a member of the College’s Integrated Care Subgroup leading this work. Her contribution in bringing forward the views of the Group, have significantly helped to form the now approved RACP Model of Chronic Care Management.

It has been officially endorsed by the Consumers Health Forum and is now the subject of high level advocacy with key health reform stakeholders such as the Department of Health, Department of Veterans' Affairs and other state health departments.

The Consumer Advisory Group welcomes Terry Williams

June 2019

Terry Williams

In May 2019, Terry Williams (pictured) was confirmed as an appointed member of the Consumer Advisory Group following an expression of interest period held at the end of 2018.

As an Aboriginal Community Elder, connected with the Goreng Goreng, Yiman and Gangalu tribes in Central Queensland Australia, he brings an invaluable background and experience that further complements the Group's diverse representation.

The Consumer Advisory Group is pleased to welcome Terry and look forward to learning from him and hearing his insights.

Find out more about our members

A spotlight on Integrated Care

June 2019

At RACP Congress 2019, the Consumer Advisory Group marked an important milestone of having consumer participation valued and welcomed to the discussion of physician care on such a platform.

Group Member Debra Letica shared her patient story about the value of kindness and CARE (Communication, Access, Respect, Experience).

The Group looks forward to further involvement at 2020 RACP Congress.

On the ground at RACP Congress 2019

June 2019

The Consumer Advisory Group held its fifth meeting during the 2019 RACP Congress in Auckland, New Zealand.

Consumer Advisory Group RACP Congress 2019 The Consumer Advisory Group (Back L-R): Te Rina Ruru, Henry Ko, Hamza Vayani, Debra Letica. (Front L-R): Ezekiel Robson, A/Prof Nick Buckmaster, Melissa Cadzow.

Members Debra Letica and Hamza Vayani were involved in Congress proceedings as an Award judges or presenters. Hamza shared a personal perspective of a carer during the Transitions from Paediatric Care into Adult Medicine shared session and was a part of the judging panel for the John Snow Scholarship presentations.

Debra presented at the Integrated Care session as a feature presenter on The Future State of Australia's Healthcare System.

Consumer representation progress

June 2019

Consumer Advisory Group members have joined key RACP Board Committees with the intent to bring a consumer perspective to the discussion and shaping of College policies and decisions. Members have been appointed to the following committees:

Henry Ko – College Education Committee 
Debra Letica – College Policy and Advocacy Committee
Hamza Vayani – College Council
Ezekiel Robson – Aotearoa New Zealand Committee

Members have also joined College subcommittees of interests: Integrated Care Committee (Debra Letica) and Podcast Editorial Group (Melissa Cadzow).

The Consumer Advisory Group is also regularly sought for reviewing comments on paper submissions from RACP. The last paper for comment was a submission to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) on Ethical Principles for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine.

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