ARCS Patient round table

Never before have healthcare consumers had so many opportunities to participate in healthcare reform in Australia. A key factor has no doubt been the rapid rise in the use of video conferencing platforms.

The focus on giving consumers a voice in healthcare system decision making has been increasing for years but the COVID-19 pandemic has seen organisations at all levels engage more consumers to co-design future policies and programs.

At the same time, such planning discussions have become more accessible for consumers. For consumer advocates with chronic health conditions, attending meetings and conferences often posed challenges such as increased pain, fatigue, building access and transportation. Now, we can join in from home at the click of a button.

2020 ARCS Virtual Summit Patient Roundtable

I was recently honoured to be invited to participate in a patient roundtable as part of the ARCS (Association of Regulatory and Clinical Scientists to the Australian Pharmaceutical Industry) Virtual Summit – Learn Share Connect which was held from 12 to 16 October 2020.

The roundtable group included consumer advocates Jessica Bean, Penelope McMillan, Tannya Stevens, David Young and me along with ARCS CEO Shanny Dyer and Moderator Janelle Bowden. We shared our experiences and insights regarding how COVID-19 has influenced telehealth, medication access, vaccines, clinical trials and more in Australia this year.

Our discussions were presented as a series of short videos published daily during the ARCS virtual summit and were seen by pharmaceutical industry professionals from government regulators through to researchers, medication suppliers and distributors. The videos of the patient roundtable discussions can now be viewed on the ARCS website.

No Decisions About Us Without Us

CreakyJoints Australia is run by people with arthritis for people with arthritis. Advocating for consumer-centred care is at the heart of everything we do. Our patient charter clearly outlines what we need from the healthcare system and the kind of treatment we deserve and expect.

“Elected officials, drug manufacturers and all associated healthcare professionals must make it their goal to ensure patients are central to all decisions.”

(From the CreakyJoints Australia Patient Charter)

In the past year alone, members of the CJA team have shared the patient voice via focus groups run by pharmaceutical and government organisations, articles in health publications, peak body committees, consumer webinars, and other platforms.

We provide tips and resources throughout our website to help individuals advocate for their own needs when talking to their friends and family, employers and healthcare providers.

You can keep up-to-date with our latest offerings by following us on Instagram (creakyjoints_aus), following #CreakyJoints_Aus on Twitter and LinkedIn or joining the international CreakyJoints community on Facebook. You can also sign up for our free newsletters and membership by clicking the ‘Login or register’ button on our website.

If you’d like to know more about how to become a consumer representative or be involved in future CreakyJoints Australia advocacy projects (including those related to COVID-19) please email info@creakyjoints.org.au 

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