The CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia Michael Moore has welcomed the much awaited announcement by Health Minister Sussan Ley of the successful tender applicants of the soon to be opened Primary Health Networks set to replace Medicare Local by 1 July 2015.
This announcement brings much needed certainty to the primary health care sector in Australia, Moore says.
“We applaud the work done to date by Medicare Locals, whose hard working and committed staff and boards around the country have (despite job security and uncertainty surrounding closure and transition arrangements) ensured services in areas such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, mental health, diabetes and chronic disease management clinics, after hours and training for local practitioners have continued to meet local needs,” the PHAA says.
“The 31 Primary Health Networks (3 of which are yet to be confirmed) will replace 61 Medicare Locals whose closure was announced in the 2014 budget cuts.
“Seemingly similar in objectives to Labor’s Medicare Locals, the Primary Health Network’s aim to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of services, and improve coordination of care to ensure patients get the right care, in the right place at the right time.
“As a public health advocacy body representing close to 2000 individual member and over 150 professional organisations, branches in every State and Territory as well as a wide range of Special Interest Groups – in particular the Primary Health Care Special Interest Group, PHAA is looking forward to building close working relationships with the newly formed Primary Health Networks to achieve their objectives.”