Entitled Towards Responsible Self Care: The role of health literacy, pharmacy and non-prescription medicines, the report of strategic policy institute Global Access Partners (GAP) was launched on 23 June 2015 by the Australian Federal Health Minister. It summarises the deliberations of the GAP Taskforce on self-care, a cross-disciplinary group brought together in 2014 to examine the potential of self-care to improve individual and public health outcomes and play a greater role in health policy.
The GAP report sets out several recommendations for government, citizens, health professionals, pharmacies and private health insurers to increase uptake of self-care and addresses three of the multiple components of self-care – access to medicines, the role of community pharmacy in primary healthcare delivery, and health literacy as a universal enabler of greater self-care.
Key recommendations of the GAP Report are:
- Consumers need encouragement to take more responsibility for their health and wellbeing, but they also need the knowledge, skills and tools required to succeed;
- Government must create a policy environment in which self-care forms an integral part of a national health policy and to work with all stakeholders to make it a reality;
- Regulatory authorities should encourage an environment that supports evidence-based non-prescription and complementary medicines;
- Cultural change is needed in the relationships between health care professionals and patients and between the different health care professions;
- The expansion of self-care will increase the demand for a broader range of solutions from industry – demand that should be met through product innovation and wider access to safe, effective treatments;
- The private health insurance industry needs to offer the right mix of incentives to alter behaviour in favour of self-care.
Download ASMI’s Media Release.
Download the GAP Report.