Ross Vasta MP

Federal Member for Bonner

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Friday, 17 April 2015

Patients in Bonner are set to receive better access to frontline health services, with Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta announcing who will be running the new Primary Health Network locally.

Primary Health Networks – or PHNs - are part of the Abbott Government’s plans to improve the health of the nation and will replace Medicare Locals from July 1. 

Mr Vasta said the successful bid by Greater Metro South Brisbane Medicare Local to become the Brisbane South Primary Health Network was good news for local residents.

“The new Primary Health Network will ensure the people of Bonner are able to access the right care, in the right place, at the right time,” Mr Vasta said.

“The key difference between Primary Health Networks and Medicare Locals is that PHNs will focus on improving access to frontline services, not backroom bureaucracy as we saw under Labor.”

“This is backed by the fact PHNs will deliver improved access to primary care services for local patients, as well as better co-ordination with local hospitals, while at the same time improving the overall operational efficiency of the network by 30 per cent.”

“There’s no doubting that, individually, there were some high-quality Medicare Locals across the country; however there were also plenty that haven’t lived up to Labor’s promise.”

The nation’s 31 new Primary Health Networks will better align with state Local Hospital Networks. 

Mr Vasta said PHNs would work directly with GPs, other primary health care providers, secondary care providers, hospitals and the broader community to ensure improved outcomes for patients.

“In addition to general health, the Abbott Government had also set PHNs six key priorities for targeted work in mental health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, population health, health workforce, eHealth and aged care,” Mr Vasta said.

Mr Vasta said the Abbott Government had also added additional checks and balances via the creation of PHN Community Advisory Committees, which will ensure all patients and local communities can provide feedback to, and have direct input into, the PHN to ensure they deliver the localised health care requirements that were unique to their region. 

PHNs were selected following a thorough tender process run at arm’s length by the Department of Health.


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