Primary Health

Primary Health Networks (PHNs) began operations in July 2015. Six priority areas have been identified for their work: mental health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, population health, health workforce, eHealth, and aged care.  Discussion papers outlining key challenges for PHNs across these priorities are available here.

AHHA supported the publication of a book Leading Change in Primary Care: Boards of Primary Health Networks Can Help Improve the Australian Health Care System which draws on the experience of the authors, who were on or associated with the board of the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local (NMML). The book explores how PHN boards can bring about meaningful reform in the primary health system. It is available for download from the AHHA website.

In 2016, the Australian Government announced a trial of Health Care Homes across 10 PHNs. This Deeble Institute Issues Brief examines the Health Care Home program, and recommends shared principles and enablers to support successful implementation of the program.

PHNs commission health services, and while they do not directly provide services, they have responsibility for clinical governance in articulating safety requirements and monitoring the quality of processes and outcomes. The Deeble Institute Issues Brief: Clinical governance for Primary Health Networks was developed as part of a series of interviews and a workshop held with the Queensland PHNs.