It appears the new Primary Health Networks (PHNs) are here to for the long haul. There is an enormous opportunity for PHNs to add value where they support quality primary healthcare services to the community.
RACGP Queensland has developed a draft position statement identifying 4 concrete targets that should be aimed for in primary healthcare reform at a local level.
The targets are presented below. I believe that PHNs could play an important role in achieving these goals – in collaboration with GPs.
- PHNs are in an excellent position to assist healthcare providers and organisations to build effective relationships. PHNs should facilitate a shared health vision for their local area, exceeding disciplinary and organisational boundaries.
- PHNs should encourage continuity of care and make sure new models and initiatives do not further fragment our health system and/or adversely affect health outcomes.
- PHNs need to play an important role in facilitating better information exchange and communication between healthcare providers.
- PHNs should encourage the development of innovative models of care that introduce genuine integration between the various parts of the health system.