A Healthier Medicare for chronically-ill patients

31st March 2016 – Joint Media Release from Prime Minister The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP and Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport The Hon. Sussan Ley MP

The Healthier Medicare package:

Patients with multiple chronic conditions will get a health care package tailored to their needs and that care will then be co-ordinated to help them easily navigate the complex system.

As many as one-in-five Australians now live with two or more chronic health conditions.

The most prominent are diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental health, eye disease, respiratory conditions and arthritis – requiring a range of health services from their GP through to specialists, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, psychologists, dieticians and weight-loss programs. This figure is even higher for Indigenous Australians, with a third reporting three or more long-term conditions.

Australians who are high users of the health system see as many as five different GPs per year – triple those with lower-use of the system. Seeing multiple GPs increases a patient’s risk of poor healthcare co-ordination and their likelihood of falling through the cracks and ending up in hospital.

Half of all potentially avoidable hospital admissions in 2013/14 were attributed to chronic conditions. That is one every two to three minutes.

The primary care package will be trialled through creating ‘Health Care Homes’ that will be responsible for the ongoing co-ordination, management and support of a patient’s care.

About 65,000 Australians will participate in initial two-year trials in up to 200 medical practices from 1 July 2017.

To read Media Release in full CLICK HERE.