Primary health data: Where's the evidence?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) questions the Commonwealth Government’s lack of action on the development of a national minimum data set for primary care. This is particularly critical given the de-funding of the University of Sydney’s long-standing Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) survey by the Commonwealth, and the need for robust data to support the effective implementation of Health Care Homes.

“Health Minister Sussan Ley has spoken about the importance of primary care in addressing funding challenges, understanding health system use and ensuring better care for people with chronic disease. With no national minimum data set and the cuts to BEACH, it is extremely disappointing that a user-pays system has been introduced in this Budget for researchers and other non-government users seeking access to Medicare data. Ironically this has been done under the guise that it will assist in supporting open access to data,” says Alison Verhoeven, AHHA Chief Executive.

“Work needs to begin urgently on a Primary Care National Minimum Data Set, performance measurements that focus on health outcomes should be developed, and should align with acute sector data sets. The Primary Health Networks must be central to this work: fragmented efforts including data collections from general practices and private health providers by other Commonwealth government-funded bodies are unhelpful and burdensome.

“One welcome measure in this budget is the investment in Cancer Screening Registries, including proposed connections with the My Health Record. This will support one of the key objectives of Primary Health Networks, to increase cancer screening in their communities,” says Alison Verhoeven.

Media enquiries:
Alison Verhoeven
Chief Executive, The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association
0403 282 501