Healthy living

Partnering with your health care provider

Sharing the responsibility for healthcare with your doctor and other health care providers is an important step you can take to improve your health and wellbeing.

This is especially important if you are living with chronic conditions.

It is a good idea to find a health care provider with whom you are comfortable and who will support a partnership approach to your healthcare.

While your health care provider is an expert on medical care, you are the expert on yourself and your needs. 

By working  together  you can develop a care plan that includes the healthcare choices that are best for you, according to your values, beliefs
and lifestyle. Occupational therapist and elderly man

Your care plan should balance treatment, medications and management with your needs, preferences and lifestyle. 

Working together means getting involved with solving problems, making decisions and implementing lifestyle changes to benefit your ongoing health and well-being.

Ensure you have a plan ready to respond if your symptoms worsen or there is an emergency.

Read the table below to learn about the differences between a traditional and the new approach to health care.

Previously most decisions were the responsibility of health care providers whereas today, people living with chronic health conditions have a greater role to play in the treatment and management of their conditions. 

The old way The new way
  • The health provider is an expert.
  • The patient follows instructions.
  • Both are experts. 
  • The consumer is an expert on their life.
  • Health care delivered is specific to a condition or service.
  • Health care is delivered according to the consumer’s needs, choices and personal journey.
  • A single health provider (for example a GP) is responsible for health care.
  • The responsibility for decision-making is shared by consumers and their health care team.
  • The goal is for the patient to follow treatment and instructions.
  • The overall goal is to support the consumer to develop the skills and confidence to actively manage their day-to-day health.
  • Immediate health issues are addressed as a one-time activity.
  • Health care is life-long and in partnership with caregivers.



Chronic Condition Self-Management Program

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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