“There is no time” – What consumers have told us this week (17-21 January 2022)

From a system that doesn’t support people with any vulnerabilities, including those with a disability, to a growing sense that we’ve run out of time, both consumers and health staff want a plan forward rather than crisis management.

The key themes you raised during HCQ’s Thursday evening online Coffee & Connect session and other online engagement included:

• Access to care and care for COVID patients
• Testing
• Vaccinations
• On-going health concerns (not COVID-related)
• Long COVID
• Be open and transparent

Read the full summary here >

What‘s the information you need right now? What consumers are saying today?

Health consumers and carers identify key issues and give suggestions of key actions. Issues include:

  • Consumers online today were very worried. They feel like there is no plan.
  • They are very worried that people are going to die unnecessarily because there is no plan.
  • Current consumer experiences shared today include being unable to get food or medications in rural and remote areas.
  • Consumers want knowledge but underpinning this knowledge and information, they want reassurance that the government has got a plan particularly now so close to the peak.

<Click here to read more>

How are you going living with COVID – Tell us what is happening?

Health Consumes Queensland wants to know how you are going living with COVID. If you have stories or information you wish to share, please use this form.  We have created it so that you can share things with us at a time that is convenient for you.

Information you share with us will be gathered anonymously and shared with relevant Queensland Health leads and others in the health system to inform them of the barriers consumers face and the support they need.

Complete this online form and we will check it regularly.

<Click here to go to the online form>

Urgent Consumer Issues

Urgent Consumer Issues

Queensland’s border opening just prior to Christmas, coupled with the dramatic rise in cases from the highly infectious Omicron variant and recent adoption of national policy shifts has meant Queensland’s pandemic preparedness has been deeply tested.

An exhausted health workforce and Queenslanders have faced the challenges of the last three weeks with agility, resilience and commitment.

During this time Health Consumers Queensland, consumer and community organisations have been escalating issues, sharing resources, and supporting care providers and consumers.

This Hot Issues Brief paper is a summary of issues of importance to consumers in this response that need to be urgently resolved.

Read the Hot Issues Brief paper >

Do Queenslanders Feel COVID-ready?

With our state border due to open on 17 December, Health Consumers Queensland hosted 3 webcasts. Our aim was to increase the COVID-readiness of Queensland health consumers and carers. We did this by providing a forum for information-sharing by clinical experts and leaders from Queensland Health What we heard was that Queenslanders feel uncertainty and want to:

  • Hear from their local health services
  • Know what plans are in place
  • Know how to escalate issues
  • Know how to be prepared

See the webcast series here >

Download the summary paper >

COVID Preparation Webcast 3: Preparing Rural and Remote Communities

Throughout the pandemic we have been hearing the concerns of consumers and health staff in rural and remote areas about how a COVID outbreak could affect their communities and families.

There are large sections of Queensland where they have been fortunate not to have a single case of COVID. But what does this mean when COVID comes to Queensland, and comes into areas that haven’t been exposed to it?

  • What levels of community transmission are likely during outbreaks in rural and remote communities? What impact will lower vaccination rates have?
  • What will healthcare look like in rural and remote areas during a COVID-19 surge?
  • What will COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment mean if hospital is hours away?
  • How are rural and remote communities, smaller health services, rural GPs, community controlled health organisations, retrieval services, local councils and local emergency services preparing to cope?
  • How will people access food, medications and community services?

In our third webcast of the series, Melissa Fox hosts Statewide Rural and Remote Clinical Network co-chairs Dr Konrad Kangru and Dr Emily Moody to discuss COVID-19 preparation from a rural and remote perspective.

COVID Preparation Webcast 2: Dr Krispin Hajkowicz and Tommy Hajkowicz

Challenges and Lessons of COVID from a Unique Perspective

Dr Krispin Hajkowicz understands COVID-19 as few Queenslanders can. As one of Australia’s leading infectious diseases doctors in Australia, in 2020 he found himself at the epicentre of Queensland’s coronavirus outbreak, overseeing care for COVID positive patients at one of Queensland’s biggest hospitals. The fear of inadvertently bringing COVID-19 home to his family was ever present. However, in August COVID-19 came into their home via a community outbreak, infecting two of their children.

This very special COVID readiness webcast was recorded at 10.30am on Monday 13 December when we welcomed Dr Hajkowicz and his 13-year-old son Tommy.

COVID Preparation Webcast 1: Dr Alex Markwell

As Queenslanders, we know how to prepare for summer storms – clean the gutters, move projectiles from the garden, and have emergency numbers handy.

Current modelling shows that COVID-19 will spread from when the border opens next month and is predicted to peak in Queensland in March. Some communities will be hit harder than others.

  • What does Qld have in place to cope with an outbreak?
  • What should you be doing to prepare?
  • How will you access healthcare and community services during an outbreak?
  • Do you know what to expect if you contract COVID-19?
  • What does Qld have in place to cope with an outbreak?

Watch this panel discussion between our CEO Melissa Fox and Dr Alex Markwell as they outline what we might expect from COVID in 2022 and what consumers and communities need to do now to prepare themselves for the Delta variant.

About Dr Alex Markwell
Dr Alex Markwell is a Senior Staff Specialist at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Emergency and Trauma Centre and Senior Lecturer with the University of Queensland. She is the Chair of the Qld Clinical Senate and a past president of AMA Queensland.