Dear members, friends and colleagues,
APNA has achieved a significant win on behalf of our members, showing great recognition for the work you do for communities around Australia. APNA has been granted a contract to deliver the Nursing in Primary Health Care Program to 2018.
In making the announcement on Friday, the Government has focused on the outcomes of this program on people living in rural and remote areas, through the support of nurses in their communities.
The program will centre on enhanced nurse knowledge, skills and capabilities in chronic disease prevention and management, and in supporting healthy ageing in the community. The aim is to increase the contribution primary health care nurses can make to care for the chronically ill and elderly, delivering better and more cost-effective patient care, and reducing the burden on hospitals and the aged care system.
It will also be achieved through workforce sustainability. The program will focus on workforce recruitment and retention, to ensure Australia has an adequate supply of primary health care nurses to meet demand, and that general practice and other employers are supported to employ nurses and optimise their use. Our workforce sustainability program will be enhanced by the development of a transition to practice pilot to encourage new graduates to primary health care. Patients will benefit from good access to cost-effective care, and support for coordination delivered, as the Minister describes, by “having nurses in the right place at the right time”.
Effective primary health care can help keep people well and out of hospital and aged care. The challenge we face right now is to ensure our primary health care system can meet the challenges of ever-increasing demand, whilst maintaining affordability and quality.
Thrilled as we are, heads are already down and planning is underway. We look forward to sharing this journey with you.