The Australian Self-Care Alliance calls on the Federal Government to establish a dedicated Self-Care for Health Development Fund, with research showing that individuals who lack the skills to undertake self-care effectively incur higher health service costs.
Self-care for health, as a health policy and practice tool, is a comprehensive, evidence-based, and complementary component of the health of individuals and families. Self-care for health can help Governments foster a more health resilient population, capitalise on Australians’ capacity to take greater responsibility for their health outcomes, and ensure the sustainability of essential frontline healthcare services.
As the Australian Health Care Alliance’s Chair, John Bell AM explains:
“The need for an informed and engaged consumer for effective prevention and health management is pressing and indisputable. However, our current primary and secondary care structures and culture do not comprehensively encourage or support consumer engagement and empowerment in health.”
“A long-term fund dedicated to self-care innovation and development should be established with a mandate to facilitate and expand self-care engagement.”
“Dedicated investment from the Federal Government, along with a systematic approach to build self-care capability and enhance self-care activity in all aspects of health and healthcare, is required if Australia is to capitalise on the health, economic and productivity benefits available through greater self-care.”
The Alliance also proposes three initial self-care initiatives for immediate investment:
- $5M to strengthen health literacy in priority populations by implementing proven place-based and community-led self-care education and engagement approaches,
- $2.5M to develop and implement a digital health information accreditation scheme and a library of accredited digital health information apps, and
- $2.5M to develop training frameworks and programs that strengthen health professionals’ competencies to deliver self-care education and engagement.
About the Self-Care Alliance
The Australian Self-Care Alliance is Australia’s unique collaboration of healthcare consumers, health promotion charities, policy experts and industry partners that promotes the adoption of self-care for health and its implementation as a core element of all aspects of physical and mental health services and policies for Australia. The Alliance was formed to advocate for the structural, cultural and policy changes required to support greater self-care in Australia’s health and care systems.