Busting Myths about Community Health Engagement

We wanted to point folks toward a great article, written by NCDD member Max Hardy of Twyfords (an NCDD org member), that offers insightful reflections about overcoming resistance to community engagement practices in the the professional health care industry. The article focuses on Max’s experiences in Australia, but there are valuable lessons to be drawn for all of us from his reflections.

Think of any challenge in our health system. Including consumers in a meaningful way is all about addressing those challenges more effectively. It is not about doing it just for compliance purposes. There is too much at stake.

Health consumers are a seriously underutilized resource. Consumer and community engagement is seen as a chore, rather than an opportunity.

For consumers the experience too often is one of fighting to be heard, and then feeling marginalized. Despite the rhetoric around this being central to health reform, the discourse is one that focuses on dissatisfaction with past experiences…

Engaging those voices directly affected and those voices that are often not heard, or who are invariably dismissed, provides the opportunity for breakthrough learning, more effective responses to crises and solutions to seemingly intractable problems to emerge.

Be sure to read the article in its entirety at blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2012/11/16/busting-some-myths-about-consumer-and-community-engagement-in-health-decision-making.

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