New funding arrangements to boost after hours GP Services

Australians will receive improved access to a local doctor after-hours under a new payment model that will encourage General Practices to treat patients outside of business hours.

Page last updated: 22 May 2015

PDF printable version of New funding arrangements to boost after hours GP Services (PDF 302 KB)

22 May 2015

Australians will receive improved access to a local doctor after-hours under a new payment model that will encourage General Practices to treat patients outside of business hours.

Health Minister Sussan Ley said General Practices that provide after-hours services to patients will be able to apply for a Practice Incentives Programme (PIP) after-hours incentive from the Federal Government from 1 July.

“Access to after-hours primary health care was an issue that was consistently raised with me during my GP consultations,” Ms Ley said.

“The PIP after-hours incentive will give General Practices positive support for ensuring that their patients have access to quality after-hours care.

“The Abbott Government has committed more than $98.8 million in 2015-16 for this new payment to boost after-hours care options for Australian patients.

“Under these new arrangements, patients will be able to easily find out what after-hours services are available, including services provided by arrangement outside of the patient’s usual general practice.”

After-hours services will be simpler to find as all practices will be required to effectively communicate their after-hours access arrangements to patients; as well as register up-to-date details of their after-hours arrangements in the National Health Service Directory.

Ms Ley said the new PIP after-hours incentive was developed based on feedback from doctors and other stakeholders through the independent After Hours Primary Health Care Review and the PIP Advisory Group.

The PIP after-hours incentive was a key recommendation of the After Hours Review, led by Professor Claire Jackson, that considered the most appropriate and effective delivery of after hours services.

“We have designed the new incentive payment with five separate payment levels to assist patients to receive the right care, at the right place, at the right time, regardless of the size of their usual practice,” Ms Ley said.

Further details about the payment levels can be found online on the Department of Health's website. Specific eligibility requirements for each payment level will be provided in the PIP after hours incentive guidelines to be released shortly.

ENDS

Minister Ley’s Media Contact: James Murphy – 0478 333 974

View by date:

Top of Page