CEO Primary Matters – 6 March 2024

WVPHN Insights Surveys Now Live 

On Friday last week we launched two new surveys to gauge the views of people working in general practice and allied health. The two region-wide surveys – What’s it like in General Practice? and What’s it like in Allied Health? – are part of our Primary Healthcare Insights project to pinpoint what’s useful and what may need improvement in the work we undertake.   

We see these surveys as an excellent way for people working in primary healthcare to provide feedback in a time of system change. They will allow us to improve our support and education, and better advocate for primary healthcare our region.  

We know that health professionals have many demands on their time, but if you can complete one of the surveys it would be most appreciated by all of us here at Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN). 

Both surveys are open to clinical and non-clinical staff. You can find more information and links to the two surveys here. 

More Bushfires for western Victoria 

Bushfires have continued to wreak havoc in parts of western Victoria, with the bushfire in the Mt Cole – Buangor region (northwest of Beaufort) being particularly large and fierce. A smaller fire near Dereel (around 30km south of Ballarat) was thankfully brought under control quickly.  

Despite catastrophic conditions last week, firefighters did an incredible job containing the fires, while local communities rallied around to support each other in innumerable ways.   

Along with other health organisations in the region, we’ve helped pull together a list of local trauma counselling and mental health services available for people affected by the fires. There’s a sheet for people living in the Mt Cole-Buangor-Beaufort region here and Dereel here. 

Primary Health Network Audit Response and the National Health Reform Agreement  

Early last week the Australian National Audit Office released its report into the effectiveness of the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care’s (DoHAC) performance management of primary health networks (PHNs).  

You can read the full statement in response to the report from Victorian and Tasmanian Primary Health Network Alliance (VTPHNA), of which WVPHN is a member, here. 

We’ve also been digesting the mid-term review of the National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA). The NHRA is one of the central documents in the Australian health sector, as it sets out the terms of the public hospital funding deal between the Australian Government and the states and territories. The review has some interesting reflections on how the NHRA is not working as expected to build an integrated health system. It also identifies how a lack of flexibility in PHN funding has been a barrier to local responsiveness and joint commissioning, particularly with Local Health Units. You can find the review here.  

Andy Giddy, Acting CEO WVPHN
6 February 2024

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