The Better Health for the Bush Collaborative is a workforce initiative in response to the ever-growing issues of primary care workforce supply in rural areas of the New England region. The PHN is currently working intensively within the Glen Innes community to collaborate on a primary care solution.
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
The PHN has adopted several strategies to attract health professionals to the Hunter New England Region.
The Australian Government funds a number of programs to provide incentives to encourage doctors to move to, and remain working in, regional, rural and remote Australia.
Each month we share useful local community health services, health fact sheets and parenting resources.
Aiming to improve the health and wellbeing of residents in small rural and remote towns in the New England region.
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
July 21 2023
After more than three decades without a local General Practitioner, the community of Spring Ridge is celebrating the arrival of Dr Owen Boyd, a GP who will service the community with two face-to-face consultation days on a regular schedule, while providing telehealth for the remainder.
July 12 2023
A grant program targeting flood-affected communities in the New England region has delivered significant improvements to the mental health and social connectedness of a complex cohort* who often fall through the gaps in existing services.
May 18 2023
Following a successful grant offering, the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN), has announced the arrival of four new general practitioners (GPs) to the Hunter, New England North West and Manning regions.
April 21 2023
The Tamworth community is being encouraged to wear red and join in the Heart Week Walk, Chat and Check to look after their heart health.
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.