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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

The Health Wrap: Mental Health Week; medical pressure points; standing up for public health

By Frances Gilham Primary Health Network boundaries announced The boundaries for the new Primary Health Networks have been announced – slimmed-down networks proposed by the Coalition in this year’s Budget to replace Medicare Locals. Medical Observer reported the federal government saying it was committed to having the Primary Health Networks up and running by 1 [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

Primary Health Networks – an opportunity for the AMA to make some money, expand its influence?

Now that some details about the 30 Primary Health Networks (PHNs) have been released, it might be timely to see some serious analysis of who are the winners and the losers amid the considerable upheaval and waste involved in shifting from Medicare Locals to PHNs.  That is one warts-and-all analysis I would very much like [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

Private health insurance in primary health care – what do the experts think?

One of the major policy changes on the agenda of the Federal Government is the introduction of private health insurance (PHI) into primary health care.  This has been flagged by Peter Dutton in a number of speeches and media interviews and was also recommended by the Competition Policy Review.  While the exact role the Government [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

From 12 patients to 10,000: building an Indigenous health success story

Marie McInerney reports: Twenty years ago, only 12 Indigenous people attended the Inala Community Health Centre, a primary care service in a south-western Brisbane suburb where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were estimated to make up eight per cent of the local population. Clinical director Associate Professor Noel Hayman commissioned an Indigenous community focus [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

Do we need more psychiatric beds?

The theme of Mental Health Week this year ‘Act-Belong-Commit’ is particularly relevant to the challenge of ensuring people with mental illnesses can access high quality care in the community.    In the following piece Dr Samantha Battams, Associate Professor & Public Health Program Director at Torrens University in South Australia, discusses how governments, health professionals and [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

A call to make better use of nurses in the primary healthcare workforce

With tenders for the new Primary Health Networks (PHNs) due to be called before too long, there is considerable speculation and uncertainty about how the new organisations will shape up. Nurses must have a central role in these new primary healthcare teams, says Kathy Bell, CEO of the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA).  **** [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

The economics are important but let’s not forget – health is a human right

The current Federal Government is very keen to tell us what our responsibilities are as citizens of this beautiful country. Apparently we need to engage in some “heavy lifting”  and there is some team or something we are supposed to join. When it comes to health care there is a rising tide of instruction. We must [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

People Power for Health Equity

The  Australian Health Promotion and Chronic Diseases Network Conference was held in Alice Springs earlier this month. For those who missed it, Cat Street from the Australian Health Promotion Association provides a tweet by tweet guide. Cat writes: Day 1 of Equity @ The Centre 2014. I pay my respects to elders past and present and wish to [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

The 7 wonders of health funding

I recently had the privilege of participating in the Consumers Health Forum’s ‘Health in a time of change’ national workshop in Melbourne. The Workshop brought together a large number of consumers and other health stakeholders to debate current issues in health policy and advocacy. Copies of many of the presentations are available here, including an overview [...]

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PRIMARY HEALTH CARE |

Time to put some more health funding options on the table

One of the more puzzling aspects of the current debate over health funding is the lack of new or innovative policy options being proposed by the Government and others from the conservative side of politics.  Given the level of panic being invoked about our alleged health funding crisis (disputed by many economists) it would seem [...]

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