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Image of boy speaking up using a megaphone to illustrate voicing a strong opinion.

Image of boy speaking up using a megaphone to illustrate voicing a strong opinion.
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5 ways to make your opinion count when it comes to health

Blog post | 04 Jul 2018

Most people have something to say when it comes to health. From conversations at barbecues to chats with co-workers to social media, people always find ways to share their views about health, wellbeing and medicine (and more).

Sometimes it’s useful; sometimes it’s simply about having a vent. But there are also ways you can voice your opinions, make them count, and bring real change.

Here are 5 ways to have your say about health.

Change the health system 

Instead of tapping your innermost thoughts on hospitals, doctors or medical bills into Twitter, you can now direct your ideas to Australia's Health Panel. Launched recently by the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF), the panel is a 'national platform for people to register their views on health issues that are touching their lives', according to its website.

The CHF, a not-for-profit organisation that represents health consumers and aims to improve Australia’s health system, is hoping to get at least 1,000 members of the public to join its panel this year. You can register your interest here

Youth matters

In 2017, a record 24,000 people participated in the annual Mission Australia Youth Survey, which found mental health, drugs and alcohol to be the biggest issues affecting young Australians.

The proportion of those surveyed who said mental health was of ‘national concern’ rose from 15% in 2015 to 33.7% in 2017, and many respondents said mental health was a barrier to achieving their goals at school or work. 

If you’re aged 15 to 19 and have something to say about any issues that impact your world, complete the online survey here.

Talk to your doctor  

One of the most effective ways to take charge of your own health, and that of your family, is simply to talk to your doctor. Speak up and ask questions. And staying with one GP — and the same specialists — whom you trust, could offer significant benefits. 

Research published in June in the journal BMJ Open found that ‘continuity of care’ (seeing the same health professionals over time) may be linked to lower mortality. 

If you don’t have a GP whom you see regularly and feel comfortable with, ask relatives, friends or people in your community if they can recommend one. You can also look for a health professional near you, including those who bulk bill, using the healthdirect Service Finder.

Your thoughts on mental health

Share your views on mental health and help change the way Australians manage mental health conditions. The Black Dog Institute is always looking for participants for research into mental health — visit the website to find out more.

How to make a complaint

Everyone has a right to safe, quality healthcare in Australia. If you have a serious complaint about a hospital, medical centre, doctor, nurse or any other health service provider, you can approach them directly to discuss your concerns. 

If you aren't able to resolve your complaint, or don’t feel comfortable approaching the service provider, you can contact the health complaints commissioner in your state or territory.

Want more like this?

For health and wellbeing news you can use, go to the healthdirect blog.

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