Funding from the Australian Government to Beechworth Health Service will enable the development of a local health care model to provide better access to health services for locals.
Nationals Senate Leader and Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie said the local project would address the challenges that the rapidly ageing population had in accessing primary health care in the region.
“This grant to Beechworth Health Service is for the co-design of an age-friendly, multidisciplinary, integrated primary health care model for the Upper Hume region,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The project will integrate rural community-based health and social care workers with aged care services across this part of North East Victoria, providing seamless care services.”
Federal Regional Health Minister, Dr David Gillespie said the Australian Government is investing in innovative projects across the country aimed at improving primary care services for local communities.
“This project will contribute to addressing health workforce shortages and maldistribution in the region, by building on and better integrating existing resources to deliver services more effectively,” Dr Gillespie said.
The grant is the first to be made under the Primary care Rural Innovative Multidisciplinary Models (PRIMM) program, which supports the development, in close consultation with communities, of ‘trial ready’ care models that address local primary care challenges.
“I congratulate Beechworth Health Service for developing an innovative solution to primary health challenges that will be ready to trial in their area for the benefit of the local community,” Dr Gillespie said.
“Importantly, the projects involve consultation and co-design with local communities to ensure the proposed models are tailored to each community’s needs.”
National Rural Health Commissioner, Professor Ruth Stewart said the PRIMM program was an effective part of the Government’s commitment to improving rural health.
“The program recognises that people in regional, rural and remote Australia have poorer access to quality health care than the cities and looks at ways of addressing that,” Professor Stewart said.
“This project will enable the development of community-supported models of care to a point where they are ready to trial.
“One of the outcomes will be the sharing of findings and lessons with other Australian rural and remote communities, to help them design their own primary health care solutions.”
PRIMM grants provide funding of up to $400,000 over two years, for six sub-regions across Australia. The PRIMM program is part of the Health Workforce Program, which aims to deliver improved health workforce outcomes and support rural outreach health services.