Review of After-Hours Service Delivery

The Minister for Health has announced an independent review of after-hours primary health care services in Australia.

Page last updated: 19 August 2014

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19 August 2014

The Minister for Health Peter Dutton today announced an independent review of after-hours primary health care services in Australia.

It will be carried out by respected GP, educator and researcher Professor Claire Jackson.

The review was recommended by former Chief Medical Officer Professor John Horvath in his report on Medicare Locals and the subsequent decision to establish Primary Health Networks.

Mr Dutton said Professor Jackson had extensive experience in primary care and a strong interest in health system reform, a topic on which she has published and presented internationally.

“The Government is committed to fixing Australia’s health system and to improving frontline services to meet community needs, including after-hours services,” Mr Dutton said.

“Professor Jackson will provide advice to the Government on the most appropriate and effective delivery mechanisms to support ongoing after-hours primary health care service provision nationally.”

Mr Dutton said the review would begin immediately, with Professor Jackson providing her recommendations to the Government by 31 October 2014.

Current after-hours service provision will be maintained through existing arrangements with Medicare Locals until 30 June 2015.

New funding arrangements will be transitioned from 1 July 2015 to ensure continuity of after-hour service provision in the community. After-hours Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items will not be included in the scope of the review.

The Terms of Reference for the review are:

    • The central role of General Practitioners and general practice in delivering after-hours services
    • The policy settings required to generate innovative solutions
    • Appropriate and effective delivery strategies, taking into account current and available mechanisms
    • Existing infrastructure and services
    • Effective and deregulated administrative arrangements
    • Appropriate mechanisms for information sharing and data collection
    • Opportunities for improved engagement with the private sector
    • Delivery challenges in rural and remote regions
    • Consumer expectations and needs
    • Findings from previous evaluations of the After Hours Primary Health Care Programme
    • Any transition to new arrangements, including timing
Enquiries regarding the after-hours review can be directed to the Department of Health After-Hours Review Inbox.

For more information, please contact the Minister's Office on 02 6277 7220

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