Building health literacy in Australia

Don Nutbeam
Med J Aust 2009; 191 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2009.tb03301.x
Published online: 16 November 2009

To empower patients, we need to apply the knowledge gained from research

The final report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission, A healthier future for all Australians, has rightly stimulated debate in Australia about what it takes to create an equitable and sustainable health care system.1 The report draws attention to the importance of strengthened consumer engagement, boldly described as “giving people real control and choice about whether, how, where and when they use health services, supported by access to evidence-based information that facilitates informed choices”, as a platform for creating an “agile and self-improving health system”.1 Building health literacy is identified as a key strategy that will underpin strengthened consumer engagement.

  • Don Nutbeam1,2

  • 1 Office of the Vice Chancellor, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.
  • 2 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.



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