The National Rural Health Alliance is pleased to see that half of the Health Care Homes trial regions announced yesterday by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Health Minister Sussan Ley include rural and remote areas.
Health Care Homes offers a better approach to integrated primary health care for patients with chronic diseases and complex conditions. The National Rural Health Alliance welcomes the announcement of the trial regions and strongly supports the patient having an active role in managing their health care.
The Alliance would like to see the trial include small rural and remote communities where the health service is led by nurses or other health workers or where the GP is visiting. If the Health Care Homes trial only includes GP practices then many rural and remote communities will be excluded. People living in rural and remote Australia have a higher prevalence of chronic disease so this trial must be designed to work for them.
We know that people with complex chronic diseases, who this trial is designed to support, will need a health care team including medical, nursing and allied health support. Health workforce shortages remain a significant issue in these rural and remote trial regions.
"If we are to support the range of care needed to address chronic diseases and produce better patient outcomes then we must trial innovative ways of enhancing patient access to the whole health care team including allied health practitioners”, said Dr Webber, CEO.
“All the evidence shows that delivering patient-centred integrated primary care provides the best patient outcomes with a return on investment that includes fewer hospitalisations. The Alliance commends the Government for undertaking this trial and will be working hard to support the participating rural and remote communities to make this trial a success", said Dr Webber.