The Australian and Western Australian Governments are working together to make it easier for people to receive high quality primary care from nurse practitioners across the state.
Through the Albanese Government’s $100 million commitment to pilot new ways to improve primary care, WA will receive $11.7 million to encourage local practices to offer more comprehensive, team-based services with nurse practitioners.
This funding is part of the Australian Government’s commitment in the 2022-23 October Budget to work collaboratively with states and territories to co-develop and pilot innovative primary care models that aim to improve care pathways and reduce pressure on emergency departments.
The Nurse Practitioner and Team Based Care Pilot will fund 20 nurse practitioners over two years, who will work both autonomously and in collaboration with other health practitioners to diagnose and treat a wide range of health conditions – and their services will be free to patients.
This pilot will improve patient access in underserviced and vulnerable populations and help address health workforce shortages in WA.
Nurse practitioners engaged through the pilot will be based in primary care services throughout WA. The precise locations will be subject to an EOI process.
The program will work closely with primary care providers and nurse practitioners to successfully design the new models of care, and provide governance, change management, community education and clinical coaching support. Evaluation of the program will inform future policy.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“The Strengthening Medicare Taskforce report made it clear that we need to utilise team-based care and our well-trained nurses to deliver quality primary care.
“This pilot is a nation-leading opportunity to for nurse practitioners to work to their full scope of practice leading to better health access for Western Australians.
“This pilot will make it easier for Western Australians to receive health care where and when they need it."
Quotes attributable to Minister Sanderson:
“We know access to primary care continues to be a problem in some areas, including in regional and remote Western Australia, and this pilot will supplement the GP workforce.
“The aim of this pilot is to provide greater access to coordinated long-term care that addresses the needs of priority cohorts with chronic and complex needs such as older Australians and people with a disability.
“If we can improve community access to preventative, multidisciplinary care we will take the pressure off our hospital emergency departments and improve the health of Western Australians.”