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    Jennifer Doggett

    Jennifer Doggett

    Your talk sounds really interesting! How about some of the public health groups, such as the Quit campaigns? In my experience (in government as well as opposition) they can be very influential in their area of expertise. Also, I think it’s important to acknowledge that DoHA, while not a lobby group as such, can also play an important role in influencing government policy – contrary to the view the bureaucracy often likes to paint of itself as simply implementing Ministerial decisions.

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    Margaret Bozik

    Don’t forget the role of unions in terms of OH&S in the workplace; they can be ahead of the curve sometimes – eg: pushing for an investigation into the impact of nanoparticles on health. And let’s not forget asbestos and health and safety measures that we now take for granted.

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    There is a strong health consumer movement that works hard to present the broader consumer perspective on health care. The Consumers Health Forum is one such organisation but there are a number of state based organisations also.
    In the ACT the Health Care Consumers’ Association (HCCA) has been working to present an informed consumer persepctive on health services for more than thirty years. HCCA is a body through which health care consumers can participate in policy, planning and service decisions that affect their health. We work to improve the quality and availability of health services, supports consumers to identify shared priorities about health, and represent these views to the ACT Government. While many of our members are consumers who have specific health issues, we advocate from the broader consumer perspective in order to develop and sustain services that are responsive, respectful, accessible and affordable to all.
    The consumer movement has a strong interest in the safety and quality of health services and we work with health departments, academics, colleges, registration boards, accreditation agencies and other organisations to improve services.
    It is our experience of the health services that is our strength: consumer organisations have learned to identify the system issues from individual experience.

  4. 4

    Clive Deverall

    Look back to the successes of the AIDS lobby in the 80s who took no prisoners. Bold as brass. And then in the same era was BUGAUP – Billboards Utilising Graffiti Against Unhealthy Products. Groups of motivated young doctors & others defacing tobacco hoardings in the dead of night with anti tobacco messages. Today we are a little too ‘whitebread’. Professionals talking to professionals in measured tones trying to score points. Perhaps we need some more bare knuckles though the previous President of the AMA (Australia’s most influential Union) may not have been the best example.

  5. 5


    Thanks everyone for your comments (which I shall borrow if ever asked to do this presentation again). And Clive, I couldn’t agree more about the “whitebread” element. I so often find, when interviewing people for stories, that they are reluctant to say what they really think about issues on the record for fear of upsetting bureaucrats, colleagues, Ministers’ offices, potential funders etc. Even worse, sometimes they will say one thing off the record, and then mouth a completely opposing view in their official press release. I can count on two hands (or maybe one) the number of contacts I have who I feel confident will “tell it as they really see it” and be prepared to put their names to it. No wonder so much of our public debate is dishonest and unproductive. That has to feed through into policy.


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