Australia Invests in Primary Healthcare Nurses

By Sharon Smith
Monday, 06 July, 2015

The numbers of nurses working in rural and remote settings will increase as part of a partnership between the Federal Government and Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA).

“We know that the 6.7 million people living in rural and remote Australia don’t enjoy the same good health and wellbeing or the same access to health services and health-related infrastructure as their city-living counterparts,” Consumers Health Forum’s Chief Executive Officer, Leanne Wells said.

The Health Minister Sussan Ley announced the $6.4 million funding last week which would focus on chronic disease management and the coordinated care of the elderly. Running until 2018 the program will include support to recruit and retain current nurses and new graduates to move into primary health care through a national transition to practice pilot.

“This involves well-coordinated care that integrates self-management into healthcare practices which encourage individuals to take more responsibility for their health. This boost in investment in primary health nurses recognises the contribution nurses can make to this style of primary healthcare," says Ms Wells.

APNA President Karen Booth says the programs would combat rising costs and demands on the health system.

“The three year NPHC Program will achieve better, more cost-effective management of chronic disease and ageing, with improved team-based care delivered in general practice and primary health care services. It will have a strong focus on rural and remote communities and those with the greatest health needs."

“This funding is an important win for the Australian health consumer who will benefit from more frontline primary health care practitioners on the ground. These professionals will be skilled in dealing with chronic and complex disease, something which is increasingly a part of many Australian’s lives."

The Nursing in Primary Health Care Program has two main elements; chronic disease and healthy ageing initiatives and primary health care nursing recruitment and retention initiatives, with a range of projects covering each area.


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