Consultation opens on draft Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan

The Hon Greg Hunt MP

Minister for Health and Aged Care

The Australian government is calling 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. 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.

Over the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled healthcare systems around the world to change the way they operate and deliver health care practically overnight. 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.

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 Australian Government recognises the immense value of primary health care in providing high quality outcomes and experiences for all Australians. In August 2019, the Government announced the development of a Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan as part of Australia’s Long Term National Health Plan.

While the pandemic represents a once-in-a-generation challenge for healthcare systems, it also represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to harness this unprecedented momentum, to work with an industry that has been primed for change through its experience of operating in the conditions of a global pandemic.

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.

You can now provide feedback on the draft plan, and individuals and organisations with an interest in primary health care and what a future focused system can deliver for all Australians are encouraged to share their views. Written submissions can be provided until 11:59pm, 29 November 2021 at https://consultations.health.gov.au/primary-care-mental-health-division/draft-primary-health-care-10-year-plan

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