Medicare Locals: improving primary health care in local communities
28 Mar 2011News
A key component of the Australian Government’s National Health Reforms is the establishment of a new nation-wide network of Medicare Locals to be locally responsive, to address local needs, to improve access to services and to drive integration across the health care system.
What are Medicare Locals?Medicare Locals will have a number of key roles in improving primary health care services for local communities.
- They will make it easier for patients to access the services they need, by linking local GPs, nursing and other health professionals, hospitals and aged care, and maintaining up to date local service directories.
- They will work closely with Local Hospital Networks to make sure that primary health care services and hospitals work well together for their patients.
- They will plan and support local after hours face-to-face GP services.
- They will identify where local communities are missing out on services they might need and coordinate services to address those gaps.
- They will support local primary care providers, such as GPs, practice nurses and allied health providers, to adopt and meet quality standards.
- They will be accountable to local communities to make sure the services are effective and of high quality.
Invitation to Apply to establish a Medicare LocalsThe Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing is inviting applications to establish Medicare Locals across Australia.
Approximately 15 Medicare Locals will commence in July 2011. A further 15 will commence in January 2012, with the remainder starting in July 2012.
Anyone wishing to apply should visit the Department’s tenders and grants webpage where you will be required to enter your contact information. This is necessary to ensure you are notified in the event of any additional information becoming available during the Invitation to Apply process.
These guidelines have been provided here for general information Medicare Local Guidelines and Information for Applicants.
More information on applying to become a Medicare Local
Medicare Locals and Local Hospital Network boundariesThe Government recently announced there will be more Medicare Locals to ensure local responsiveness. As a result, the Commonwealth is re-examining the existing Medicare Local catchments. The review will be undertaken in consultation with states and territories and will be finalised by April 2011.
Applicants seeking consideration in the first group of Medicare Locals should base their proposals on the publicly released Medicare Local boundaries as at 23 December 2010.
More Information on the Medicare Local boundaries
Discussion paper: governance and functions of Medicare LocalsThe Medicare Locals Discussion Paper on Governance and Functions was released on 29 October 2010.
The Medicare Locals guidelines take into account submissions received on this discussion paper and views of other key stakeholders.
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eHealth.gov.au is your gateway to Australia's personally controlled electronic health record system, linking you to information about eHealth records and the system itself. Visit www.ehealth.gov.au
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