Primary healthcare steering group revealed

Matt Woodley

18/10/2019 4:01:13 PM

The 12-person panel will guide primary care reforms covered in the Federal Government’s Long Term National Health Plan.

Healthcare graphic
The steering group will help guide the next 10 years of primary healthcare reforms.

It will also set the vision and provide independent advice on the development of the Primary Health Care 10-Year Plan, as the government aims to create a more ‘person-centred, integrated, efficient and equitable’ health system.
GPs Dr Steve Hambleton and Dr Walid Jammal will co-chair the steering group, which also includes RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon, Australian Medical Association President Dr Tony Bartone, and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine President Dr Ewen McPhee.
Dr Jammal told newsGP the group will seek widespread consultation in the coming months before releasing a discussion paper, and that he and Dr Hambleton would initially work with the steering group to define short and long term goals.
‘We will advise the minister and government on a 10-year vision for primary care as well as aims, goals and priorities,’ he said.
‘We will be committed to coming up with advice that reforms the primary healthcare system … to be more person centred, integrated, efficient and equitable.’
Dr Jammal also said discussions have already begun on the implementation of a $448.5 million package designed to help doctors provide more flexible care to patients aged 70 years and over. The aim will be to complement the Medicare Benefits Schedule, as well as strengthen and support the relationship between GPs and their patients.
Professor Claire Jackson from the University of Queensland’s General Practice and Primary Care Research department is also on the group, and she told newsGP the immediate task is to build meaningfully on all the reform documentation of the 10 years.
‘This is a very experienced committee with a very broad understanding of primary care structure, challenges and capacity to deliver for future populations,’ she said.
‘Getting the framework right now will facilitate the long-term system and funding change needed to allow general practice to deliver its best for future communities.’
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the 10-year plan will also include extensive consultation with patients, providers, experts and the community.
‘The establishment of the Primary Health Reform Steering Group is the first step in this approach,’ he said.
‘The next step … will be the establishment of a broad-based consultation group with representation from across the sector to help guide and respond to public consultations.
‘My department will also be convening targeted consultations and roundtables on key issues to help inform the plan.’
The steering group will meet periodically until September 2020.
The steering group: 

  • Dr Steve Hambleton (co-chair), GP
  • Dr Walid Kammal (co-chair), GP
  • Dr Harry Nespolon, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • Dr Tony Bartone, Australian Medical Association
  • Dr Ewen McPhee, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine
  • Dr Dawn Casey, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
  • Ms Leanne Wells, Consumers Health Forum of Australia
  • Ms Cathy Baynie, Australian Association of Practice Management
  • Ms Karen Booth, Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association
  • Professor Claire Jackson, University of Queensland
  • Mr Adrian Carson, Institute for Urban Indigenous Health
  • Ms Gail Mulcair, Allied Health Professions Australia
  • Mr Phil Calvert, Australian Physiotherapy Association

chronic disease funding government Long Term National Health Plan primary healthcare

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Dr Daniel Thomas Byrne   19/10/2019 8:21:24 AM

A who’s who of wonderful high profile primary care experts. Best of luck to you all. I am a city GP but please make rural general practice and Aboriginal Health a high priority.