Australia’s health system is under increasing pressure to provide better quality, affordable and accessible health care, built on universal access to Medicare. A long term strategy for the health system is needed, including providing better management of patients with complex and chronic conditions, eliminating waste and improving efficiency. To support this endeavour, a Primary Health Care Advisory Group (PHCAG) is being established to develop advice to Government on short, medium and long term opportunities to reform the primary health care system.
Role and deliverables
The role of the PHCAG will be to examine opportunities for reform and to develop them into a series of proposals for consultation, prior to reporting to Government.
The PCHAG will be supported by the Department of Health to identify opportunities for health system reform, with a particular focus on:
- Primary / Acute care interface, including the proposed and potential roles of PHNs;
- Innovative care models for target groups such as those with complex, chronic disease;
- Funding models that best support proposed service improvements;
- Potential revised roles for existing players in the health system that support proposed service improvements; and
- Better recognition and treatment of mental illness.
In conjunction with the Department the PHCAG will:
- Assess the current system and review national and international literature;
- Consider learnings from innovative service model trials and other service models innovations within Australia, and where appropriate, internationally;
- Analyse and model potential impacts across the system, key target groups and individuals;
- Undertake targeted consultations; and
- Develop concrete proposals for short, medium to long term reform options for consideration by Government.
The PHCAG will be chaired by Dr Steve Hambleton. External Members are appointed as individual experts, but will be expected to drive interest with their respective sectors to support the PHCAG work programme.
Governance and Engagement
A targeted but comprehensive stakeholder engagement process will be essential to the development of achievable and pragmatic proposals for reform. The process will include a range of consultation mechanisms including forums, issues papers, public submissions and targeted clinician, industry, and consumer consultations.
State and Territory governments are key stakeholders and will be fully engaged. They have specific expertise as systems managers and have access to unique data sets and a range of analytical and planning tools and are also trialling a number of innovative service delivery approaches which the PHCAG should consider in formulating their advice.