Strengthening Medicare – General Practice Grants Program
Registrations are now open for the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care’s Strengthening Medicare – General Practice Grants Program.
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) has emailed each eligible practice more information and a link to the registration form. Practices who have not received this email should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (03) 9347 1188.
Registrations are open until Thursday, 15 June 2023.
The Australian Government is investing $220 million in grants to support general practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs). This funding is for eligible recipients to make improvements to their practices to expand patient access and support safe, and accessible, quality primary care.
NWMPHN is administering this program for all eligible general practices in its region. The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation is administering the program for all eligible ACCHOs.
What can the grants be used for?
A one-off grant is available to each participating practice to invest in innovation, training, equipment, and minor capital works in any one or more of the 3 investment streams below:
- Enhancing digital health capability – to fast-track the benefits of a more connected health care system in readiness to meet future standards.
- Upgrading infection prevention and control arrangements – to support the safe, face to face assessment of patients with symptoms potentially indicating infectious respiratory diseases such as COVID-19 and influenza.
- Maintaining or achieving accreditation against the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for General Practices (5th Edition), under the General Practice Accreditation Scheme – to promote quality and safety in general practice.
Practices can fund activities within any one or more of the 3 investment streams to best address their needs.
Please refer to pages 5 and 6 of the Quick reference guide (.pdf) for examples of investment activities under each investment stream.
How is each practice’s grant amount determined?
The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care (DoHAC) has determined each practice’s grant allocation. This allocation is based on:
- accreditation status, against the RACGP Standards for General Practices (5th Edition); and
- size, as determined by DoHAC’s Medicare GP full time equivalent (GPFTE) 2021–22 financial year data.
Medicare GPFTE is a statistical methodology used by DoHAC that aims to estimate the entire time that general practitioners (GPs) spend delivering primary care services. It is not simply the standard hours worked by employed GPs in the general practice, nor a head count of GPs.
The method calculates a GP’s primary care workload based on Medicare Benefits Schedule items claimed within a GP’s scope of practice. For each GP, the measure provides an estimate of the billable time, non-billable time, and non-clinical time.
For more information on how GPFTE is derived, see Method Paper: General Practice Full Time Equivalent (GPFTE) – Workforce (.pdf).
How to register for a grant
Registration is a simple 2-step process:
- Complete an online registration form. If your practice hasn’t received this form, please contact email@example.com. Please ensure only one person in your practice completes the form. See Supporting documents below for information on the details you’ll need.
- NWMPHN will check the registration details and provide a pre-filled grant agreement for the practice to check, sign and return, along with an invoice (an invoice template will be provided).
The practice will then receive its funds within 30 days. Practices can choose to receive the payment in the next financial year if they wish.
These documents contain more information:
- Invitation letter (.pdf) from the Australian Government’s Minister for Health and Aged Care
- Fact sheet
- Quick reference guide (.pdf)
- Sample grant agreement (.pdf). You do not need to complete this document. It contains the details you will need to complete the online registration form (highlighted in green and listed below).
The details you need to complete the form are:
- practice contact details (name, address, email, phone, fax if you have one)
- full legal name of the practice
- trading or business name of the practice
- Australian Business Number
- Australian Company Number (if applicable)
- GST registration details (if you are registered)
- legal entity type (for example: individual, incorporated association, company or partnership)
- current accreditation status (unaccredited, registered for accreditation or accredited)
- practice’s bank account details
- details of an authorised contact person for the grants program, who will be called the “grantee’s representative”
- your selection of one or more of the investment streams as outlined in What can the grants be used for? This is a checkbox only – no further details are required.
- your preferred timing for payment of the grant amount. Practices can choose to be paid in either the 2022–23 or 2023–24 financial year.
Tip: practices who are unsure about their ABN details, such as their full legal name or trading name, can use the ABN lookup tool at abr.business.gov.au
The following are the most important dates for the grants program:
- Friday, 21 April 2023: Grant invitations sent to practices.
- Thursday, 15 June 2023: Deadline for practices to complete the registration form. Any practice that anticipates issues meeting this timeframe, or requires further information or assistance, must contact firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, 1 June 2023.
- Sunday, 30 June 2024: Deadline for practices to spend their grant funds.
- 31 July 2024: Practices to complete evaluation survey and financial acquittal report form (details to follow).
Questions and support
A dedicated email address is available for all enquiries: email@example.com
Practices can also contact their NWMPHN quality improvement program officer or call us on (03) 9347 1188.
We encourage practices to read the supporting documents linked above before contacting us.