Primary Health Networks – supporting after-hours care
Investing $145 million in after-hours funding

Under the Primary Health Care Development Program this measure enables Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to continue their central role in ensuring that patients in their local communities can access after-hours primary health services and maintain continuity of services.

Page last updated: 09 May 2017

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The measure further streamlines the operation of the Health Information, Advice and Counselling Services Network (HIACSN) program, and the Primary Health Collaboration and Complex Conditions (PHCCC) program.

Why is this important?

This measure ensures that Australians will continue to have access to after-hours primary health care when they need it. PHNs were provided with funding from 2015–16 to 2016–17 to implement innovative and locally tailored after-hours solutions based on community need, recognising that all PHN regions are different.

The success of their efforts proves that PHNs are well positioned to continue to assist patients to access to after-hours services.

Importantly, the HIACSN program will continue to provide nurse triage, after-hours general practice, and pregnancy, birth and baby call services. The impact of changes to the program will be minimised by carefully redesigning how services are delivered.

The PHCCC program was established to support health providers and primary health care organisations to assist people living with chronic and complex conditions to maintain their quality of life.

Current and new services will be redesigned, ensuring coordinated care will continue for people with complex and chronic conditions.

Who will benefit?

Patients will benefit through continued funding for PHNs to ensure improved access to after-hours primary health care services for all Australians.

How much will this cost?

PHN after-hours funding of $145.5 million has already been provisioned by the Government. This measure will achieve savings of $41.9 million from 2017–18 to 2020–21.

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