Push for Australians to make informed healthcare decisions

A push to encourage Australians to be more proactive in the management of their own healthcare is underway by NPS MedicineWise Choosing Wisely Australia initiative and the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF).

The Conversation Starter Kit, launched today, 30 may at the  2019 Choosing Wisely Australia National Meeting in Melbourne, has been designed as a new resource for individuals and organisations promoting better health outcomes for consumers.

NPS MedicineWise CEO, Professor Steve Morris said the new kit highlights why it’s important for people to ask their healthcare providers questions about any test, treatment or procedure they are being recommended, so they can make a more informed and joint decision about their health management.

“It’s concerning to hear people willingly have tests, take medicines and undergo surgeries without even asking basic questions about necessity, risks or other options,” Mr Morris said.

“Through Choosing Wisely Australia we are encouraging people to think about the questions they should be asking about their healthcare, to engage in conversations about what care is truly needed – what is helpful and what is not.

“The right choice should be based on the best available evidence and discussions between consumers and their health professionals.”

The kit includes an introductory guide, short presentation and a new video encouraging consumers to ask their healthcare providers questions about the tests, treatments and procedures recommended to them.

CHF CEO Leanne Wells said the Conversation Starter Kit offered a new avenue for consumer health advocates to drive patient-centred care.

“By promoting the messages and resources of Choosing Wisely, advocates can play an important role in helping grow the reach of the initiative in the community, ultimately helping to reduce low-value and unnecessary healthcare practices”, she said.

“Having good conversations about healthcare options is critical to shared decision making between healthcare providers and consumers.”

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