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$8 Million injected into general practice through Strengthening Medicare Grants Program.

More than eight million dollars will be provided to 339 general practices across the Hunter, New England and Central Coast regions, under the Commonwealth Government’s Strengthening Medicare Grants Program, being facilitated by the Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN).

90 per cent of General Practices (totaling 339 practices) have applied for the grant offer in the first month, equating to $8,445,000 in funding for the region. When the grants are fully subscribed the investment will total just under $10m.

The Program supports general practice by providing a one-off grant of between $25,000 and $50,000 (dependent on practice size) to each participating general practice. The grants can be used for investments in innovation, training, equipment, and minor capital works, to enhance digital health capabilities, upgrade infection prevention/control arrangements, or achieve accreditation.

HNECC PHN Chief Executive Officer, Richard Nankervis, said the grants are structured to allow practices to invest where the practice needs it most. “We’re pleased to see the high rate of applications across the region, as we know these grants will provide vital support and upgrades to general practices. The funding is timely given many practices are still recovering from the significant impacts of the pandemic on patient care and practice systems.

“We are thankful to the Labor Government for funding this practical and worthwhile initiative.”

Minister of Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler said, “After working tirelessly throughout the pandemic, doctors across the Hunter, New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network deserve more than thanks, and that’s why the Government is giving them the resources to invest in their practices.

“The $220 million investment will give a much-needed boost to general practices across the community. This funding will help improve practices and make sure Australians can access safe, quality and affordable healthcare when and where they need it.”

Kristy Cartwright, Practice Manager of Health In Abundance, Medowie, is delighted to receive the grant funding. “We are very excited to be receiving the grant, which are using towards IT, specifically, a software upgrade. The upgrade will allow us to change to a more interoperable medical software program which integrates with more services, streamlining our workflow and easing the burden on practice staff.”

The Australian Government is investing $220 million in grants, over two years from 2022-2024

to support general practices. The purpose of the Program is to provide funding to general practices to expand patient access and support safe, accessible and quality primary care.

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