We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We asked

Between November 2020 and January 2021, the Department of Health sought feedback on the The Framework for the Collection, Release, Use and Publication of Voluntary Indigenous Identifier Data (VII Data Framework). Specifically, the Department asked:

  1. Does the VII Data Framework clearly set out the legal and ethical obligations for data users?
  2. What suggestions do you have on how the Department should communicate the legal and ethical obligations to data users?
  3. Does the VII Data Framework sufficiently protect Medicare estimations and enrolment data?
  4. What suggestions do you have on how VII data should be used?
  5. Is the Five Safes Framework an appropriate way to assess data requests?
  6. What else should be considered when assessing a request for VII data?
  7. How would you assess the types of statistical data tables that can be released to data users?
  8. Please include any other comments about the VII Data Framework below

You said

Seven organisations and four individuals responded to the consultation including, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health authorities, doctor peak organisations, a nurses’ and mid-wives’ group and government agencies. Most respondents were satisfied with the VII Data Framework’s  legal and ethical obligations, protections for Medicare and enrolment data, and access and release arrangements.

Specific feedback on the VII Data Framework include:

  1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Data Sovereignty Principles need to be strengthened.
  2. It should include a supplement that further clarifies a user’s legal and ethical obligations.
  3. It should include a metadata document detailing technical information about the VII variables.
  4. It should provide further details on what the VII can and can’t be used for.
  5. Endorsement of the use of VII data in linkage or integration projects, provided an Accredited Integrating Authority conducted the linkage and all other restrictions on VII data are met (i.e. data can only be used for statistical purposes, and not to identify individuals, and must be used for health-related research and policy development).
  6. Requests for VII unit record data should have approval from a Human Research Ethics Committee with expertise in evaluating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research projects.
  7. Action should be taken to improve VII coverage including via data linkage and communication with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  8. Priority access should be available for planning and policy development.
  9. VII data should be released at lower levels of geographic aggregation.

The Department appreciates all the feedback and thanks all respondents.

We did

The Department has considered all responses, and these will be used to inform updates to the VII Data Framework.

  1. While some information on this will be added to the VII Data Framework, Indigenous Data Sovereignty is a broader issue that the Department will address in the context of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and in collaboration with the National Indigenous Australians Agency.
  2. Additional information on legal and ethical obligations will be added to the VII Data Framework.
  3. A metadata document will be included in the appendix of the VII Data Framework .
  4. The VII Data Framework will include more detail on appropriate use of VII data, as well as specifying prohibited uses (e.g. to identify or target individuals).
  5. Information on the circumstances guiding linkage of VII data will be included in the Framework.
  6. The VII Data Framework will specify that requests for unit record data for a research project must be accompanied by approval from a Human Research Ethics Committee with expertise in evaluating research including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  7. There are currently no plans for a broad-based communications strategy, but the Department notes the work of ACCHS in this space which has supported growth in VII enrolment of 3,000 new enrolments per month on average over the last ten years.
  8. While prioritising access by particular users is not currently planned, the Department continuously reviews and refines the data release process to better meet the needs of users and stakeholders.
  9. Currently, MBS estimates that use the VII are available at the State/Territory, Remoteness Area and PHN levels. Lower levels of aggregation will become available as coverage increases.

We asked

We asked for your feedback on the new ARPANSA Standard for Limiting Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields – 100 KHz to 300 GHz (RPS S-1) because we want to make sure that the standard is fit for purpose and provides clear guidance to industries and regulators to ensure the safety of Australian workers and the general public including people of all ages and health status.

You said

We received 61 submissions from a range of stakeholders, including health authorities, scientists, academic bodies and members of the general public. There were a range of technical comments, questions, and suggestions, as well as comments from members of the public expressing concern about the certainty of the science underpinning the exposure limits.

We did

We have reviewed all submissions and made some amendments, primarily to clarify technical aspects of the Standard. The revised Standard and our responses to individual consultation comments will now undergo formal approvals prior to publication.  

The new Standard will be published on the ARPANSA website in the first quarter of 2021.

We asked

For views and input across all sectors of the Australian community about a Lung Cancer Screening enquiry to investigate the feasibility of a national lung cancer screening program for people at high risk of lung cancer.

 

You said

That many factors should be considered across many sectors of the Australian community and the health system.  Public consultation submissions and input from stakeholders were detailed. Thank you for this feedback.

 

We did

We considered all feedback and engaged a consultant to analyse and summarise consultation outcomes for consideration by the Minister for Health. The Lung Cancer Screening enquiry report will be submitted to the Minister for Health in October 2020.

We asked

Between November 2019 and February 2020, the national obesity strategy Working Group asked for feedback on a proposed framework and ideas to be included in a national obesity strategy.

On 31 August 2021, the Health Chief Executive Forum agreed to support public consultation on the draft national obesity strategy.

During September and October 2021, the national obesity strategy Working Group will be seeking feedback on the draft national obesity strategy from all stakeholders. We look forward to receiving your comments. Details of how you can provide feedback will be posted on this webpage in the coming weeks.

You said

November 2019 - February 2020

Across the country, 604 Australians engaged in community events. In addition, 1,038 short-form and 342 long-form surveys were completed, and 35 stand-alone submissions were received. Some further targeted consultation was also progressed with three priority groups (people with disability, young people, older people).

Respondents proposed a range of ideas and suggestions for what could be included in a national obesity strategy, with most highly supportive of a comprehensive strategy. The feedback received is appreciated.

We did

Consultants reviewed and analysed all the feedback received in the 2019/20 national public consultation and prepared consultation reports.

Despite the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic response, the national obesity strategy Working Group has considered all feedback and progressed the development of the national obesity strategy.

We asked

For written feedback, based on the Terms of Reference, for the independent review of nursing education - Educating the Nurse of the Future - by 30 June 2019.

You said

We received 83 written submissions and these have now been published (scroll down to view).

We did

Professor Steven Schwartz AM has now submitted the final report to Minister Hunt following completion of the Review. The report will be considered by government and a plan for public release will be developed. There is no fixed date for the release of the report available at this time.

We asked

For feedback on our tobacco control legislation to make sure that it is effective and fit for purpose.

You said

Improvements could be made. Public consultation submissions and input from stakeholder workshops were detailed. Thank you for this feedback.

We did

We considered all feedback and engaged a consultant to analyse and summarise consultation outcomes for Australian Government consideration (scroll down for the consultation summary). This feedback is being used to progress this legislative review.

We asked

In December 2018, we asked for feedback based on the Terms of Reference for the Review of the Quality Use of Medicines Program’s delivery by the National Prescribing Service (NPS MedicineWise).

You said

54 external submissions were received and 26 external interviews were conducted. Submissions were detailed and highlighted the requirement for greater transparency, accountability and efficiency in the delivery of quality use of medicines programs. Thank you for this feedback.

We did

Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO conducted the Review and a final report has been accepted by Minister Hunt. The public report and the Government’s response to the Review recommendations can be found at

https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/qum-nps-review

 We are working with NPS MedicineWise to implement the Review’s recommendations.