2 September 2013

APNA continues to strive to inform, engage and represent it’s primary health care nurse membership. From today’s eNews, APNA is delighted to begin a regular contribution from APNA’s executives about the latest and ongoing strategic work of the association and it’s presence at a national and local level.

Federal Election

APNA has delivered a strong message calling on all sides of government to recognise and support the important primary health care nurse workforce upon which our Australian health system is so very dependent now and into the future.

APNA calls on all parties and candidates in the 2013 Federal Election campaign to commit to the following vital measures:

  • Significantly increased investment of resources into primary health care systems in Australia.
    • A robust primary health care system is essential to meeting the growing needs of our ageing population by keeping people as well as possible, and able to live in the community for as long as possible. Investment in the primary health care system will help ensure the physical and mental health needs of the community can be met in the most efficient and person-centred way, supporting Australians to live and age well.
  • The development of an education and career framework for nurses working in primary health care, particularly general practice.
    • There is a critical need for a plan to improve recruitment, retention and productivity in the primary health care nursing workforce. Such a plan would deal with current problems including the lack of supported clinical placements in primary care in the context of bottlenecks for new nursing graduates seeking placements; the barriers to re-entry for trained nurses who have been out of the workforce for a period; and the high level of exits from primary care nursing due to the lack of career development opportunities.
  • Reforms to general practice financing, to support equitable access to quality multidisciplinary team care.
    • The primary health care financing system must be reformed to adequately support and promote high quality, person-centred multidisciplinary team care, and ensure good access for all. Increasing out-of-pocket costs are a real threat to access to care by the most disadvantaged in our community.
  • Engagement with all relevant health professions and consumers on primary health care reform.
    • General practice and primary health care is not just about doctors. Building a well integrated, person-centred primary health care system will require full engagement of all relevant health professions – medical, nursing, allied health, pharmacy, and so on – as well as consumers.

eHealth

Health media over the last couple of weeks has been a buzz about the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) and its future. APNA remains strongly supportive of the ongoing development of a high quality national eHealth record which can provide Australian consumers and their clinicians with access to safer, efficient, relevant, quality health data where and when it is needed. APNA also believes it remains essential for this development to be led by clinicians and in particular nurses; the largest Australian health workforce.

APNA is currently represented in high level consultation along with other national peak bodies, DoHA and NeHTA, aiming to ensure this valuable asset continues to evolve to the quality, usable and relevant product much needed by consumers and clinicians alike.

APNA also continues to push to ensure nurses working in primary health care are adequately engaged with, educated and informed on eHealth. Engagement of general practice nurses in particular is critical to the success of the eHealth initiative. General practice nurses are and will increasingly play a key role in engagement of consumers and clinicians with the eHealth record and ensuring shared health data is agreed upon, clean, accurate and relevant.