Government opens consultation on draft primary health care plan

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Health minister Greg Hunt has called for stakeholder input following the opening of the consultation period for the draft Primary Health Care 10-Year Plan.

"Primary health care matters to everyone," said Minister Hunt. "It is the front line and first point of contact with the health care system for most Australians, and it is central to keeping people healthy and well in the community, wherever they may live and across all stages of their lives. Our primary care system is world-class and has been a central driving force at the heart of our COVID-19 response."

"The Primary Care sector has underpinned our COVID response in communities across Australia, we have accelerated the use of telehealth as part of usual care and highlighted the value of local collaboration across providers and systems to save and protect lives," he said.

"We need to ensure that our system can continue to deliver the best, contemporary health care, to meet today’s and tomorrow’s health challenges."

The federal government announced the planned development of the 10-year plan in August 2019.

Minister Hunt continued, "The Plan draws on input from consultations with individuals and organisations across the country from late 2019, and during 2020 and 2021. It represents a high-level response to the draft recommendations of the Primary Health Reform Steering Group, which has been working since October 2019 on future directions for primary health care reform."

The focus of the 10 Year Plan is on Australia’s primary health care services provided through general practices, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS), community pharmacies, allied health services, mental health services, community health and community nursing services and dental and oral health services.

The plan also focuses on the integration of primary health care with hospitals and other parts of the health system, aged care, disability care and social care systems.