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Rural Health Access

The PHN is working to improve health in rural communities

What is rural health access?

Rural health access ensures people living in rural communities of the PHN can access health care at the right time, where they live. The PHN is developing a Rural Health Strategy that focuses on rural primary health care solutions, a sustainable workforce, and innovative models of care. The Rural Health Strategy will direct The PHN’s rural health access initiatives.

Current rural health access initiatives

Rural health access activity

Since the inception of the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (the PHN) in 2015, primary health care support and services have increased by a value of more than $45 million. The increase in primary health care support and services to the PHN’s rural and remote communities is due to an equitable process for distribution of funding based on needs identified in the PHN’s health needs assessment.

Key increases in rural support and services identified from 2015 to 2022 included:

  • Over $5 million spent in response to drought, bushfires and COVID-19
  • Over $2.5 million invested in grants to meet local community needs
  • 3.8 times greater expenditure on mental health services
  • 72.2% increase in Health Pathways localised to rural areas
  • 6 .2 times more funding dedicated to Aboriginal Health Services
  • 200% increase in funding for drug and alcohol services

HNECC PHN regional and rural areas definitions

Our Primary Health Network works with health care providers across regional and rural areas to deliver a range of primary health care services that meet identified needs and close service gaps for people living in our region.

Local Government Areas (LGAs)

  • Moree (Moree plains, Gwydir, Narrabri, Gunnedah)
  • Tablelands (Tenterfield, Inverell, Glen Innes Severn, Armidale Regional)
  • Plains (Tamworth Regional, Liverpool Plains, Uralla, Walcha);
  • Upper Hunter (Upper Hunter Shire, Muswellbrook, Singleton, Dungog)
  • Manning Great Lakes (Mid Coast)

Latest PHN rural health access news

Rural Health Access Manager

Collaboration with stakeholders is crucial to help us understand emerging issues impacting the community, focus on the right topics at the right time and develop resources that are fit for purpose. We seek to work with you and value contributions to our planning. Please contact the rural health access manager or phone on the number below to connect with us.

Annabelle Williams

Manager, Rural Health Access
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