In the internet era when so much good and bad information floods people’s screens, there is a need for a healthy information culture to overcome fake health news.
We agree with the AMA that doctors, and health systems, have a vital role to play in improving health literacy by communicating effectively and sensitively with patients, encouraging discussion, and providing information that is understandable and relevant.
Doctors can do more in this regard. CHF’s recent Australia’s Health Panel Drop the Jargon survey found that a lack of time in health appointments, was a major barrier to understanding in health care.
Health literacy is vital to consumers’ capacity to manage and feel in control of their health care. As one of the blueprint authors said, right now, up to 60% of Australians appear to lack the capacity to access, understand, appraise and use crucial information to make health-related decisions.”