After much anticipation on the boundaries of the new Primary Health Networks (PHNs) that will replace Medicare Locals on 1 July 2015, Gippsland Medicare Local (GML) welcomes the announcement that Gippsland will remain as its own region.
GML has been proactive in ensuring the health needs of Gippsland are of the highest priority during the planning phase of PHNs by advocating for Gippsland to be represented by its own PHN. This will ensure the region’s unique and diverse heath needs are locally focused and responded to appropriately in the new PHN environment.
The objectives of PHNs align strongly with those of GML which is to coordinate primary health care in Gippsland and to better connect services to meet the needs of local communities. Given this synergy GML Board Chair, Dr Nola Maxfield, said GML have resolved to bid for operation of the Gippsland PHN on behalf of the region’s health sector.
“GML is working hard to ensure that the significant progress made by GML, its relationships and strong understanding of the whole Gippsland health needs and priorities are not lost in the move to PHNs.”
“There has been much investment in the establishment of Medicare Locals at a governance and organisational level, it would make considerable sense to retain the best of GML and invest it in the Gippsland PHN.”
“The GML bid for the Gippsland PHN will be underpinned by support from across the Gippsland region. GML has established a PHN Advisory Committee comprising a cross section of the health sector and community stakeholders who will be in a position to provide expert input into the bid and demonstrate region wide support.”
Dr Maxfield said GML is focused on ensuring its stakeholders and community have an opportunity to have input and involvement in the future of primary health planning and services in the Gippsland community.
Victoria’s existing 17 Medicare Locals will be replaced by six PHNs, with the tender process expected to commence early November 2014.