North Western Melbourne PHN welcomes health budget boost

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  15 May 2024  NWMPHN   

Media release

North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) welcomes the $10.7 billion funding boost to health and aged care services announced by the Treasurer in the Federal Budget 2024-25.

The increase includes the previously announced $227 million commitment to opening 29 additional urgent care clinics across the country.

“The Urgent Care Clinics – along with the Priority Primary Care Centres introduced by the Victorian Government – have provided a vital mid-stream measure for people, while also taking some of the pressures off the hospital and general practice sectors,” said Christopher Carter, NWMPHN Chief Executive.

“NWMPHN has played a critical role in overseeing the implementation of this new urgent care tier across Victoria, and we look forward to continuing to deliver optimal outcomes in that role.”

Mr Carter said that while all the additional Federal Government investment in health was very welcome, of particular value were $71.7 million for primary health networks to boost care for people with complex mental health needs, $16 million to implement system changes to MyMedicare, and the extension of Single Employer Model trials until December 2028 to attract and retain GPs in areas of workforce need.

“Major structural reforms such as the continuing expansion of the MyMedicare program, strengthened foundations for Medicare bulk billing, and a welcome commitment to greater resources for women’s health all speak to the core values of proper health care,” said Mr Carter.

“We’re pleased to see continued expanding roles for professionals such as mental health nurses, peer workers, counsellors, allied health workers and so on. Multidisciplinary care is a high priority for primary health networks.”

Mr Carter added that additional funding for mental health services was also welcome news. NWMPHN plays a central role in the continued development and deployment of the national Head to Health program, and looks forward to assisting with the next phase of its operations.

“It is heartening to see that the government’s commitment to building equity and access in the health system is continuing,” he said.

“Ensuring all people can access the treatment they need at the lowest cost possible is not only a profound moral position – it is also a sound investment in the future.

“A healthy nation is by definition also a happy and productive nation.”

↓ You can download a copy of the media release here.