Deon Schoombie - Australian Self Medication Industry - Self-care in a changing public healthcare landscape


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Deon Schoombie delivered the presentation at the 2014 Future of Medicare Conference.

The Future of Medicare Conference was a timely event as the Abbott government debates a full over haul of the Australian healthcare system. This conference presented a chance for government representatives, regulators, health care providers in the public and private sector, educators and private investors to come together and debate the proposed changes to Medicare as well as discuss the best practice methods of implementing new measures and frameworks.

For more information about the event, please visit:

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Deon Schoombie - Australian Self Medication Industry - Self-care in a changing public healthcare landscape

  1. 1. The role of self care in a sustainable healthcare system Deon Schoombie Australian Self Medication Industry
  2. 2. Overview • Defining self care • Challenges in creating a sustainable healthcare system • UK experience with self care • Consumer perspectives on self care • Impact of non-prescription medicines • An Australian Self Care Alliance
  3. 3. Common themes • Individuals, children, families, friends, communities & carers • Promoting health, preventing illness & accidents, managing illness & disability • With or without support of healthcare professionals • Encompassing all aspects of daily life - hygiene, nutrition, lifestyle, environmental & socio-economic factors & cultural beliefs 3
  4. 4. Definitions of self care • WHO: 1983,1998 & 2013 Self care is the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease and maintain health and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider. • Segall & Goldstein (1989): Self care is the basic level of healthcare in all societies. 4
  5. 5. Self care – what it isn’t • Self care doesn’t mean no care • It doesn’t mean diverting people away from healthcare services • It doesn’t mean individuals are left to look after themselves • Self care is not what individuals do instead of going to the doctor, it’s what they do between visits.
  6. 6. Person-centred care • Respect for values, needs & preferences but also acknowledging capacity, capabilities & skills • Partnership & responsibility - sharing & collaborating
  7. 7. Challenges Australian Health Policy Institute report (2001): • There is far more that we can do than we can afford to do. • There is a problem with rising community expectations • The ageing population • Increasing willingness to pay for expansion of medical care through government spending alone • All of us need to be better informed about health so our choices can be more intelligent & demands for healthcare becomes more restrained than they are.
  8. 8. UK Self Care Policy • 2000 - Self care on national health agenda • 2000 – Pharmacists positioned on frontline of self care strategy • 2000 – Wanless report: – Fully engaged patient in all aspects of healthcare – The patient as partner & resource – Self care a prime example of effective partnership – Evolutionary strengthening of patient responsibilities
  9. 9. Consumer perspectives Eppossi Barometer (2013): • Consumers understand the concept & benefits • They see it as vital part of managing health & disease • They acknowledge responsibility & are willing to take on more • Minority feels confident to do so • Health literacy is pivotal • Consumers don’t view self care as a partnership with a healthcare professional
  10. 10. Recommendations • New policies needed to define role of healthcare professionals in self care • Greater emphasis on shared care • Government must make self care integral to health policy • Government should seek improved partnerships with stakeholders to improve outcomes by sharing data & resources • Key role of health insurers & healthcare providers need to integrate incentives for self care
  11. 11. Impact of self medication Current impact: • 1 in 9 consumers use NMPs regularly – 80% adults & 40% children • Savings of $10.4bn • For every $1 spent $4 saved Potential future impact through “switch”: • $2.1bn in savings
  12. 12. A new population health strategy What will it take? • Securing a champion • Constructing partnerships • Engaging with private health sector • Meaningful consultation • Promoting accountability – monitoring progress & empowering citizens
  13. 13. The case for self care in Australia • Translating greater personal responsibility into practice • Recognise consumers as a healthcare resource, not just users • Making better use of professional healthcare resources • A partnership approach is vital • Starting a systematic debate - Australian Self Care Alliance
  14. 14. Thank you