Vic Management Interns' blog

Blog posts by Victorian Management Interns of the Australasian College of Health Service Management. Views are those of the individual authors and not those of ACHSM or management interns’ host organisations or employers.

Tais Lildaree
Tais Lildaree

Health Management Interns, ACHSM

A HMIP Intern's perspective of the 2017 ACHSM/ACHS Asia-Pacific Congress

Author: Simon Chong

Date: 29 Nov 2017







The Health Management Internship Program (HMIP) gives the opportunity for individuals to develop skills, competencies and knowledge to start a career in the health management industry. The Victorian program consists of four lots of six-month placements designed to provide a breath of knowledge and experience across the health sector. Victorian interns come from a variety of backgrounds; from clinical to health promotion project officers to interns with corporate finance backgrounds. Diversity in the program encourages robust dialogue between interns which broadens their perspectives on health management and its intersection with finance, policies and other industries.

The ACHSM congress, held in Sydney from the 27th to the 29th of September, was a fantastic opportunity to meet and network with like-minded individuals in a pursuit of the vision of better health service provision. To build upon management industry experience, interns are invited to attend the annual ACHSM congress to gain exposure to different perspectives of leaders in the field. The conference organisers had set a ‘nautical’ theme, illustrating the idea of understanding the current climate of healthcare and preparing for the future through ‘charting a course’ to better waters. I was delighted to hear from prominent experts in and around the health sector on the topics including policy, health data management, journalism and economics. One of the highlights was being able to hear from Lesley Dwyer – CEO of the Medway Maritime NHS Foundation Trust and her experiences on turning around a health service in dire need and building an organisational culture of safety and quality. Quality is a topic that is extremely relevant in the current health climate, highlighted by the current Government safety and quality agenda and echoed in the ‘Targeting Zero report’. The challenge for the health sector is to improve the provision of care through meaningful usage of health data and improvements to clinical governance systems.

On the first morning of the congress, the organisers held a private HMIP-only networking session on the usage of social media and health promotion. Matthew Nott, Director of Corporate Communications, Western Sydney Local Health District, highlighted significant health promotion programs to improve health-literacy and encourage behaviour change to combat significant health issues such as skin cancer through sun exposure. Dr Darren Saunders, Senior Lecturer in Medicine at the University of New South Wales highlighted the opportunity of using social media as a platform to increase the prominence of scientific viewpoints within the community. It was interesting to hear evidence to the fact that all age demographics are increasingly adopting social media channels for news consumption. Social media channels are not merely used by millennials but will likely become the main platform for information distribution to the public.  The evolving trends in news consumption call for a rethinking by health services on their use of social media platforms and other emerging communication channels to communicate on a continually relevant level.

We were challenged, as future leaders, to think of new ways to better engage the public on health issues through new media channels. I was inspired to become a part of a stronger voice of health information in the cacophony of health misinformation and trending health advice. As future leaders in the health sector, it is a responsibility to be able to speak evidence to speculation, truth to stupidity and compassion to hysteria. It is the hope that integrating science through social media in ways that are relevant to all audiences will better inform public dialogue and address public concerns for health issues.

About the Author

Simon is a 1st year Management Intern currently placed at East Grampians Health Service in Victoria. He holds a Bachelor of Physiotherapy and has previously worked in large private healthcare organisations. He has a passion for empowering patients to make better health decisions and driving evidence based change programs. 

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