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Consumer representation: challenges and pitfalls

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The area of consumer participation in health care is new and best practice approaches to consumer provider relationships are still emerging. The exemplar of the market is a powerful model that is normalising consumer provider relationships in the public domain. Not surprisingly, this construct has infiltrated the area of health care and is increasingly defining relationships in this arena. While this model benefits some, its benefits are not universal. This paper cautions for vigilance in ensuring models of consumer participation remain alert to risks that can derail well intentioned initiatives and leave consumers and patients bereft.
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Keywords: consumer representative; consumerism; market; patient

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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