New Primary Health Networks to deliver better local care


Patients in country Western Australia are set to receive better access to frontline health services, with Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson announcing who will be running new Primary Health Networks locally.

Primary Health Networks – or PHNs - are part of the Abbott Government’s plans to improve the health of the nation and will replace Medicare Locals from July 1.

WA Primary Health Alliance Ltd (WAPHA), which includes Perth Central and East Metro Medicare Local, Goldfields-Midwest Medicare Local, Perth South Coastal Medicare Local and Fremantle Medicare Local will be the country WA PHN and will partner with a wide range of organisations.

“The Abbott Government wants to ensure everyone has access to the right care, in the right place, at the right time and PHNs form a core part of our plan,” Mr Wilson said.

“The key difference between Primary Health Networks and Medicare Locals is that PHNs will focus on improving access to frontline services.

“This is backed by the fact PHNs will deliver improved access to primary care services for local patients, as well as better co-ordination with local hospitals, while at the same time improving the overall operational efficiency of the network by 30 per cent.”

The nation’s 31 new Primary Health Networks will better align with state Local Hospital Networks.

Mr Wilson said PHNs would work directly with GPs, other primary health care providers, secondary care providers, hospitals and the broader community to ensure improved outcomes for patients.

“In addition to general health, the Abbott Government had also set PHNs six key priorities for targeted work in mental health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, population health, health workforce, eHealth and aged care.”

The Abbott Government had also added additional checks and balances via the creation of PHN Community Advisory Committees, that will ensure all patients and local communities can provide feedback to, and have direct input into, the PHN to ensure they deliver the localised health care requirements that are unique to their region.

PHNs were selected following a thorough tender process run at arm’s length by the Department of Health.


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