How should Primary Health Networks support GPs?

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. PHNs need to play an important role in facilitating better information exchange and communication between healthcare providers.
  4. PHNs should encourage the development of innovative models of care that introduce genuine integration between the various parts of the health system.

6 thoughts on “How should Primary Health Networks support GPs?

  • Hmmm, lets see various divisions of general practice – had a good local network going, replaced by GP-Minus (well no GPs are in those buildings are they?) and Medicare Locals, and then these PHNs come along. How come every last good and simple bits of the previous program are dropped for efficiencies and the bureaucratic burden increases?


  • I agree with the RACGP’s comments. On the ground I attend many meetings and program development scenarios which are still working in silos. For example the pcists all meet, the dentists all meet, the GPs meet etc. Every time I see something on the program that is in my area of practice I ask if I attend and STILL I am told that the events are GP only and that GPs doe not like it when there are ‘others’ at their events. This is not what I see when I host NPS activities -the interaction and discussion is excellent and everyone in the room benefits. So my plea is that we need to change the mindset of the PHN directors who may/may not have been through the whole Division of GP/ML world and are jaded and out of touch with real world.


  • Karalyn, thank you for telling me how I feel (as a GP) that I do not like events with non-GPs. You know you get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar (mind you they quite often like rotting things too)


    • I am sorry Benedict I did not mean to imply that GPs do not want to interact with other health care providers. My point was that at the planning stages of events I am told by the event coordinators that GPs do not want ‘others’ at the event. This is an old misconception and needs to be buried. I apologise if I caused offence. I am currently at the Central Queenlsand Rural Health activity and the GPs present all work well with their fellow helath providers and are actively addressing issues that stifel collaboration. I work with a diversity of GP practices as a consultant pharmacist and their is mutual respect and collaboration.


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