Access to general practitioners on the Central Coast, New South Wales

Page last updated: 13 March 2019

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring Australian patients have access to a 21st century health system that provides the right care, in the right place, at the right time. It is vitally important that our health system is integrated, agile, efficient and most importantly, focussed on delivering Australian patients world-class health care.

Many locations around Australia face unique health workforce challenges, but it is the smaller communities where the effect of workforce shortages is most acute. While the Government does not have a direct role in employing health professionals, it does have a number of programs to support communities in delivering essential health services.

The majority of communities in the New South Wales Central Coast region, including towns such as Gosford, Wyong and Cooranbong are classified as:

    • non-District of Workforce Shortage as the population has better access to Medicare subsidised health services when compared to the national average.
    • Modified Monash 1 (MM1) – which are categorised as major cities under the Modified Monash Model geographical classification system.
Further information about the geographical classification systems, such as the District of Workforce Shortage and Modified Monash Model including maps can be found on the DoctorConnect website.

The Distribution Working Group reviewed the District of Workforce Shortage system and the implementation and design of the Modified Monash Model. The annual District of Workforce Shortage update is still being finalised. Further information will be provided in the near future on the DoctorConnect website. Should your community be experiencing exceptional circumstances, please contact your local Rural Workforce Agency.

The Government funds Rural Workforce Agencies ($86 million over 3 years to June 2020) in each state and the Northern Territory to deliver the Rural Health Workforce Support Activity (RWA Program), which provides a number of activities to improve the access, quality and sustainability of the rural health workforce. Further information about the RWA Program can be found at the Department of Health website.

While most of the central coast region including Cooranbong is classified as MM1 under the Modified Monash Model and not covered by the RWA Program, the New South Wales Rural Workforce Agency is assisting practices in the area through the provision of recruitment support.

The Government’s $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy will provide contemporary health care and put 3000 more highly qualified doctors and more than 3000 nurses and hundreds more allied health professionals into the regions over the next 10 years. This will ensure people living in rural, regional and remote Australia have better access to health services. More information can be found at the Department of Health website.

On 1 July 2015, the Government established 31 Primary Health Networks (PHNs) as independent primary health care organisations, located throughout Australia. The PHNs aim to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of primary health care services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes, and to improve coordination of care to ensure patients receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

PHNs work to reorient and reform the primary health care system by taking a patient-centred approach to medical services in their regions. They have three main roles:

    • They commission health services to meet the identified and prioritised needs of people in their regions and address identified gaps in primary health care. This may include working with others in the community to plan and deliver innovative services that meet specific health needs.
    • Through practice support, they work closely with GPs and other health professionals to build health workforce capacity and the delivery of high quality care.
    • They work collaboratively within their regions to integrate health services at the local level to create a better experience for patients, encourage better use of health resources, and eliminate service duplication.
The Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN holds responsibility for commissioning services in the Central Coast region. Information regarding what services are available in this region can also be found at by contacting the PHN directly at