Think Tank Backs Primary Care Organisations
Thursday, 2nd September 2010 at 2:20 pm
Regional Community and Primary Healthcare organisations should be established and resourced at Commonwealth level, according to a Not for Profit Policy Think Tank held in Canberra by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) and supported by the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN).
The AHHA is the peak national body representing public hospitals, area health services, community health centres and public aged care providers, including public dental services.
The Think Tank involved over 60 people from Primary and Community Health services across Australia and developed recommendations for the incoming Federal government on progressing reforms in primary and community care.
Prue Power, Executive Director of AHHA says a key recommendation was the establishment of local primary care organisations which would be funded according to the needs of their populations, with additional loadings for any special needs.
Power says these organisations would coordinate the health services of patients across the health sector and would also play an important role in public health and prevention, thereby working to reduce health inequalities in these communities.
Other recommendations arising from the Think Tank include sharing of patient information supported by an electronic health record; establishing a single point of access to services; and developing and implementing guidelines for care pathways to foster multidisciplinary care.
Power says the Think Tank recommended that the boundaries of these organisations would align with those of Hospital Networks to facilitate seamless patient care between primary/community and hospital care. The Community and Primary Healthcare organisations would also work with other sectors such as aged care and mental health sector to coordinate the care of patients.
In relation to rural health, the Think Tank called for a commitment from Government to a rural health plan, including implementation of a fast broadband internet system and allocation of a fair share of infrastructure funding. Participants also called for bipartisan support to ensure the gross inequities in Indigenous health are rectified.