Primary Health Network to replace Medicare Local

Patients on the Central Coast are set to receive better access to frontline health services with Member for Robertson Ms Lucy Wicks confirming who will be running new Primary Health Networks locally.

Primary Health Networks, or PHNs, are part of the Coalition Government’s plans to improve the health of the nation, and come into effect from July 1. Hunter New England and Central Coast Limited, including Central Coast Medicare Local, will be the local operator. “The Coalition Government wants to ensure the people of the Central Coast are able to access the right care, in the right place, at the right time and Primary Health Care networks form a core part of our plan,” Ms Wicks said. “The key difference between PHNs and Medicare Locals is that PHNs will focus on improving access to frontline services, not backroom bureaucracy. “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 effi ciency of the network by 30%. “There’s no doubting that individually, there were some high quality Medicare locals across the country, however, there were also plenty that haven’t lived up to Labor’s promise,” Ms Wicks said. Ms Wicks 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. The Government has also added additional checks and balances via the creation of PHN Community Advisory Committees, which 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 were unique to their region. PHNs were selected following a thorough tender process run at arm’s length by the Department of Health.

Media release, 11 Apr 2015 Tim Sowden, Office of Lucy Wicks MP