Next Steps Taken To Establish Medicare Locals

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29th October 2010, 03:44pm - Views: 552





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THE HON NICOLA ROXON MP

Minister for Health and Ageing


MEDIA RELEASE


29 October 2010


Next Steps Taken to Establish Medicare Locals


The Gillard Government is getting on with the job of reforming our health and

hospital system and today took the important next step in establishing a network of

primary health care organisations – Medicare Locals – by releasing a discussion

paper on their planned roles, functions and governance. 


The discussion paper outlines what activities Medicare Locals will undertake, how

they will be structured, and how they will engage with patients and health providers.


The paper outlines five key objectives for Medicare Locals:


Identification of the health needs of local areas and development of locally

focused and responsive services including a stronger focus on prevention and

early intervention;


Improving the patient journey through developing integrated and coordinated

services;


Providing support to clinicians and service providers to improve patient care,

particularly the better prevention and management of chronic disease;


Facilitating the implementation and successful performance of primary healthcare

initiatives and programs; and


Being efficient and accountable with strong governance and effective

management.


The paper expects that Medicare Locals will be independent legal entities with formal

linkages to Local Hospital Networks and will build upon the existing role of Divisions

of general practice.


Medicare Locals will have strong links to local communities, health professionals –

including GPs, practice nurses and allied health professionals – and service

providers enabling them to respond more effectively to the needs of local

communities.


They will provide more co-ordinated care, improve access to services and drive

integration between GPs, hospitals, allied health, mental health and aged care.


Speaking at the formal opening of Australia’s seventh GP Super Clinic in Belmont,

Geelong, Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said that one of the first

important tasks of Medicare Locals will be to help coordinate 24 hour GP after hours

access, which will take pressure off our hospitals.

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GP Super Clinics are a key element of the Australian Government’s strategy to build

a stronger primary health care system, having already provided over 250,000

services across Australia.


26 GP Super Clinics are currently either operational, offering early services or under

construction.


The first Medicare Locals are expected to commence operations in mid-2011 with

the remainder commencing in mid-2012.


The Government’s discussion paper and information on how to respond to the


received by 12 November 2010.


For all media inquiries, please contact the Minister's Office on 02 6277 7220






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