Reforming primary care | Australian Greens

Reforming primary care

Effective management of chronic disease

Our primary care system is not currently meeting the needs of the one in five Australians living with multiple chronic diseases. The Greens will reform the system to better facilitate longer term, coordinated patient care and provide patients with access to treatment from allied health professionals.

For patients suffering chronic conditions, visiting the doctor when they feel unwell - or worse, ending up in hospital – is often too late.

The Greens will reform the system and inject $4.3 billion in new funding over four years to ensure the Medicare system is best equipped to manage the rise in chronic disease. We’ll provide ready access to allied health professionals by bringing them into Medicare. Together, these reforms will improve the lives of the millions of Australians with multiple chronic diseases, and relieve strain from the health system.

Our plan

A primary care system that meets your needs

To ensure our health system better meets the needs of the millions of Australians living with chronic disease the Greens will:

  • Invest $1.5 billion in new funding over four years, on top of reinvesting existing money, to reorganise the current GP payment system, with $1000 payments available to GP practices per enrolled patients to compensate doctors for their high quality chronic disease care1.
  • Invest $2.8 billion to give patients access to allied health professionals through Primary Health Networks.
  • Invest $11.9 million for the development of nationwide standards and models of care for the treatment of chronic disease.
  • Improve data collection across the primary health system so that patient outcomes can be better monitored and assessed.

Properly managing complex chronic conditions requires a new level of coordination. We will facilitate this by:

  • Bolstering the role of Primary Health Networks (PHNs), to give them primary responsibility for commissioning and improving chronic disease management services, and measuring outcomes.
  • Task PHNs with negotiating performance benchmarks with health providers in their region.
  • Developing a national framework for chronic disease identification and treatment, including patient risk profiles, performance targets and detailed care pathways.

Together these reforms will ensure our system is geared to meet the modern needs of Australian patients.

Read our plan

Case Study: Monica

Monica is 53 and has just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Our reforms to primary care mean that Monica can be enrolled with her local GP, who discusses the implications of her condition in detail with her, and is responsible for assisting Monica to maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage her condition.
Monica’s disease has been caught early and her prognosis is good. She and her doctor commit to a plan to watch her diet, lose weight and monitor glucose. According to her risk profile and care plan, she will benefit from some initial education from a trained diabetes educator – which is available at no cost to Monica.

As patients with diabetes often experience foot complications and are 15 times more likely to face amputation, Monica’s plan also includes regular consultations with a podiatrists. Her GP facilitates both at no cost to Monica. Given her condition, is also critical that Monica consults an eye specialist, which the GP includes in her management plan.

Monica’s doctor follows up on her progress with regular visits. The practice nurse helps her by measuring and monitoring her blood sugar level. The doctor is rewarded for maintaining the relationship with Monica, and also for Monica’s health outcomes.

Read our plan

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