The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) commends the Government’s announcement today of an innovative approach to care for people with chronic and complex conditions delivered through primary health care.
The Healthier Medicare reform targets coordination of care through a trial of Health Care Homes where patients will register with one primary health care provider that will be responsible for their ongoing care coordination, management and support.
The strategy is based on recommendations from the Primary Health Care Advisory Group, on which APNA President Karen Booth sits as the sole nurse representative.
“This is a creative and innovative model that will allow greater flexibility in the delivery of high-quality care in the primary health environment, and forms an exciting opportunity for nurses,” said Ms Booth.
“Nurses play a major role in improving the health journey through preventive care, chronic disease management and curative care.”
This proposal aligns with APNA’s position that nurses are agents of connectivity* in primary health care.
“This is a model that will allow greater participation of nurses in caring for people with chronic, complex and multiple conditions; it empowers nurses in their contribution to chronic disease management and in doing so recognises the prominent role nurses play in primary health care in this country,” said Ms Booth.
APNA congratulates Minister Ley for making a significant step to ensure the security of a health system that will serve Australians into the future.
APNA acknowledges that whilst details of the design and implementation of this initiative are yet to be released, we look forward to being involved in this process representing the interests of our members and nurses working across primary health care in Australia.
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*Phillips CB, Pearce CM, Dwan KM, Hall S, Porritt J, Yates R, Kljakovic M, Sibbald B. Charting new roles for Australian general practice nurses: Abridged report of the Australian General Practice Nurses Study. Canberra: Australian Primary Health Care Institute, 2008. Available from aphcri.anu.edu.au and www.apna.asn.au.