Consumer engagement and participation

Consumer engagement and participation means the right to be involved in decision making processes. South Australians want a variety of opportunities to participate in health, which go beyond surveys or consumer representatives.

SA Health is committed to ensuring that consumers, carers and the community have the ability and opportunity to participate in decisions about their health and health services. SA Health wants to make sure:

  • you and your healthcare providers are partners in your health care.
  • you can ask questions about your care and actively participate in decisions about your health care and health services.
  • you can be involved to help us meet your needs and develop safe, quality services.
  • you are our partner in planning, implementing and evaluating services.
  • you receive culturally responsive health services.

Consumer engagement

SA Health values the contribution consumers and the community can make in improving health services, including service planning, designing care and service measuring and evaluation and are committed to strong consumer and community engagement. The resources have been developed to ensure there are mechanisms in place to actively engage with consumers and the community in order to meet their needs and develop appropriate services.

Consumer and Community Engagement Governance Model

The Consumer and Community Engagement Governance model (PDF 66KB) model outlines the consumer and community advisory groups involved in service planning, designing care, measuring and evaluating health care services.

Sitting fees and reimbursement

Sitting fees recognise the significant contributions made by external individuals who bring knowledge, skills and experience that is not generally obtainable from SA Health employees. Reimbursement ensures that external individuals are not out of pocket as a result of their participation.

SA Health has reviewed the way we handle sitting fees and reimbursement claims, see the Sitting Fees and Reimbursement for external individuals policy directive (PDF 149KB) or contact the consumer engagement representative in your Local Health Network (PDF 32KB) for more information. 

SA Health staff can access all forms and additional information on the Safety and Quality intranet regarding sitting fees and reimbursement. 

Claiming sitting fees and reimbursements

All consumer claims for sitting fees and reimbursement must be made using the interim Consumer Sitting Fee and Reimbursement Claim Form (PDF 471KB). A Frequently Asked Questions document (PDF 537KB) is available for guidance to complete the form.

First time claimants no longer need to complete the ‘Vendor Creation Form’ if the ‘Consumer Fee and Reimbursement Claim form’ is completed in full (providing their name, address and bank details).

For additional information and relevant documentation see the Sitting Fees and Reimbursement for external individuals policy directive (PDF 149KB). This policy is currently being reviewed to include the interim Consumer Sitting Fee and Reimbursement Claim Form.

Taxation and Centrelink

Taxation and Centrelink arrangements need to be considered on a case by case basis and in consultation with the relevant Australian Government agency.

Sitting fees may be considered a form of reportable income by Centrelink and Services Australia. The Australian Government Services Australia income reporting page provides further information. There may be different tax treatments for sitting fees and reimbursement payments.

Taxation fact sheets are available on the Oracle Assist intranet as a general guide and only for the purposes of SA Health in relation to:

How to get involved

To find out how to get involved in a consumer group in your area, please contact your local Consumer Engagement Coordinator (PDF 89KB) or the Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia.