The Minister for Health and Aged Care, Sussan Ley, said the Turnbull Government was committed to its Health Care Homes program to find better ways of delivering medical services to an ageing population with one in two Australian living with a chronic condition.
United General Practice Australia (UGPA) today called for a three to six month delay of stage one of the voluntary trial of Health Care Homes.
Ms Ley said that stage one was scheduled to be rolled out in limited and selected regions from July 2017.
“It is voluntary for medical practices and patients and no doctor is required to participate if they do not want to,” she said.
“It will not start until mid-2017 and it will be fully evaluated before any future roll-out to the wider community.”
Ms Ley said the development of stage one of Health Care Homes had included the views of the medical profession through an advisory group in the Department of Health.
“I welcome the input of the RACGP, the Australian Medical Association and the Rural Doctors Association of Australia throughout the development of the Health Care Homes program,” she said.
“The Government will continue to listen to the input of all stakeholders – consumers, doctors, health care providers -and take on board suggestions to ensure that the roll-out of Health Care Homes is to the benefit of patients, health professionals and the health system as a whole.”
Ms Ley said the Government was committed to continuing with the call for Expressions of Interest from medical practices to participate in the Health Care Homes trial, which closes on 15 December.
The Turnbull Government has allocated more than $100m to support the rollout of stage one, which aims to enrol up to 65,000 patients in 200 medical practices in 10 regions across Australia.
General practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) in these regions can apply for stage one of Health Care Homes: Perth North; Northern Territory; Adelaide; Country South Australia; Brisbane North; Western Sydney; Nepean Blue Mountains; Hunter; New England and Central Coast; South Eastern Melbourne; Tasmania.
More information on the application process is available on the Tenders and Grant page at www.health.gov.au
Ms Ley said she would take advice from the Department of Health on key factors associated with the voluntary trial. If advice was received about the effective rollout of Health Care Homes for commencement on 1 July 2017 she would consider such advice at that time.
Ms Ley said delivery of stage one of Health Care Homes was designed to find better ways of delivering Medicare for Australians with chronic illnesses.
This had never been more important with one in two Australians living with chronic conditions and one in five managing two or more.
Ms Ley said: “Health Care Homes allows for team-based and integrated care for patients and gives greater flexibility to design individual care plans for patients and co-ordinate care services to support them.”
The Federal Government acknowledges the leading role of the RACGP in promoting the health care homes model.
RACGP President Dr Frank R Jones heralded the move as a ‘great win for patients, providers and funders’, and congratulated the Federal Government for listening to the RACGP’s calls to implement the medical home model in Australia.
“The RACGP applauds the Federal Government and Health Minister Sussan Ley for taking the RACGP’s advice on board and tackling the growing burden of chronic disease,” Dr Jones said.
-RACGP Media Release, 31 March, 2016 – Health Care Homes hailed as life-saving by RACGP
In a joint statement released today, the Roundtable group has urged Federal, state and territory governments to expand and accelerate development of the existing Health Care Homes project, planned to trial to coordinated care for chronically-ill patients in up to 200 sites.
-RACGP Media Release, 1 August, 2016 – Time to match healthcare with the consumer needs of the 21st Century