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HNECC PHN applauds the Labor Government’s 24-25 Budget

The Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN) has thanked the Albanese Government for its commitment to primary health care following the announcement of the 2024-25 Budget. Of significance is the Government’s $6 million commitment to expand and enhance the HNECC PHN’s Domestic Family and Sexual Violence (DFSV) Primary Care Outreach Team Pilot Program.

HNECC PHN Chief Executive Officer, Richard Nankervis said funding allocated for DFSV projects, mental health services, workforce initiatives and Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will make a positive and impactful difference for those residing in the Hunter, New England and Central Coast regions.

“To increase equity of access to primary health care services, our PHN has been working continuously with General Practitioners, health professionals, service providers and the community to identify and fill gaps. Our DFSV Primary Care Outreach Team Pilot Program is an example of our dedication to this purpose. This program we developed and seed funded has provided over 4,000 occasions of care to women and children seeking refuge on the Central Coast.

“The $6 million funding provided by the federal government to enhance and expand the project means up to another five PHNs across the country will receive funding to provide outreach care to women and children in refuge, many who have not had access to appropriate health care for too long, if at all.

“We’d like to express our gratitude to our local MPs who have supported us in our lobbying for this funding and made the expansion of this program possible.”

Key Budget Initiatives - What’s in it for Primary Care?

  • $10.7 billion funding boost to health and aged care services announced by the Treasurer in the Federal Budget 2024-25.
  • $71.7 million for primary health networks to boost care for people with complex mental health needs, $16 million to implement system changes to MyMedicare.
  • Extension of Single Employer Model trials until December 2028 to attract and retain GPs in areas of workforce need.
  • Boosting the number and capacity of Medicare Urgent Care Clinics by 29 (to a total of 87 across Australia) of which one new clinic will be placed in the HNECC PHN region bringing the total in our region to five.
  • A new free, national early intervention mental health service will be rolled out.
  • Refuge services for women and children experiencing domestic, family and sexual violence will be supported through PHNs. The HNECC region will receive $2 million over two years to enhance and expand the pilot program (a total of $6 million for up to six PHNs to distribute this incentive Australia wide).
  • $17.4 million will be provided to support health services at risk of closing. PHNs will work with rural workforce agencies (including the Royal Flying Doctor Service) and local communities to support people to get the care they need close to home.

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