AMA plan to make Primary Health Networks more effective than Medicare Locals

31 Jul 2014

AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, said last week that the AMA wants to work closely with the Government to make Primary Health Networks (PHNs) more effective facilitators of primary care services than the under-achieving Medicare Locals they are replacing.

“The AMA wants PHNs to be better targeted and more driven by family doctors at the local level, and has been working on a plan for effective PHNs to improve access to care for patients” A/Prof Owler said.

The AMA plan proposes that PHNs should focus on the following areas:

  • Population Health – Identifying community health needs and gaps in service delivery; identifying at risk groups; supporting existing services to address preventative health needs; and co-ordinating end of life care.
  • Improve the capacity for General Practice to deliver quality primary care – Supporting practice infrastructure through:
    • IT support;
    • Education and training of practices and staff;
    • Supporting quality prescribing;
    • Training and supporting the use of e-Health technology and systems; and
    • Facilitating the provision of evidence based multidisciplinary team care.
  • Engage with Local Hospital Networks/Districts – Identifying high risk groups and developing appropriate models of care to address this, and improving system integration in conjunction with local health networks.

“We can’t afford to get it wrong a second time, and the AMA stands ready to work with the Government to ensure that PHNs are an effective and integral component of the health system,” A/Prof Owler said.

Full media release.