GPs in community health project recommences

17 March 2023
The Department of Health has recently restarted the next phase of the GPs in community health project, a key reform item in the Community Health Action Plan.

Primary care is a key focus area and multiple streams of work are progressing at both National and State levels to address urgent issues in primary care, particularly GPs, including better patient access, reducing acute demand, improving patient experience and outcomes and enhancing integrated care for chronic disease.

Phase 1 of this project described a series of key enablers to GP sustainability within community health services. The next phase (Phase 2) will focus on agencies that receive Community Health Program funding identifying and implementing practical solutions that deliver integrated and multidisciplinary GP-led care.

As part of this phase, a small number of rural and regional agencies will be targeted to support a proof of concept for GP-led models. The project will focus on supporting agencies currently delivering the community health program where there is a known shortage of GPs, and an opportunity to improve the delivery of integrated and coordinated multidisciplinary care. 

Agencies that receive grants will have an opportunity to be mentored by other agencies with more established and financially sustainable primary care models.

This investment aims to develop collaborative models that support a GP workforce to be employed across health agencies receiving Community Health Program funding. Agencies that provide this mentoring will also receive funding assistance. 

The Department has also contracted the Victorian Healthcare Association (VHA) to run a Learning Network that provides agencies with targeted capacity building opportunities to support: 

  • Improving the sustainability of GP-led services by leveraging funding streams 
  • Delivering integrated and multidisciplinary GP-led models of care. 

The Learning Network will be open to all agencies receiving Community Health Program funding and provide a forum to access learning, foster collaboration, share resources, support best practice advice and activate partnerships. 

The VHA will engage agencies soon to consult on content and timings for meetings.