Funding for primary care health services expanding across the New England & North West

Primary health care services including drug and alcohol treatment services in the New England and North West are to get a boost thanks to significant new funding. The new funding package, commissioned by the Primary Health Network, aims to improve access to a range of drug and alcohol treatment in addition to culturally appropriate mental health services for Aboriginal people.

Speaking today at the launch of the new services Richard Nankervis, CEO for the PHN said: “The Primary Health Network is pleased to be providing more than $2.9M in funding to primary health care and a range of other treatment providers across the New England and North West regions.

“Our PHN has undertaken extensive consultation with a range of local stakeholders to inform our planning and commissioning of these services across our region. This planning and consultation has been vital to ensure that the services we commission are informed by local needs and priorities so we can maximise the benefits of the Commonwealth Government’s investment.

“We are also delighted that we will be getting the opportunity to work with organisations such as the St Vincent De Paul Society NSW, who are here today. The Society has a strong record of providing evidence based prevention and early intervention and treatment activities in communities across the nation.”

Commenting on the Society’s success in being awarded contracts for drug and alcohol treatment services in Tamworth and Armidale, Dianne Lucas, Society Deputy CEO said: “The Society recognises that alcohol and other drug use is common within our communities and our aim is to promote wellbeing and minimise the harm resulting from the use of these substances. We have a long and well established track record in providing drug and alcohol treatment services, particularly in this region. The work we do will help inform national evidence-based treatment policies.

“As many people would be aware we already operate Freeman House in Armidale which has become a vital service to help people from across this region tackle addiction issues. The facility makes a significant difference to the community by working alongside people, providing support and guidance and helping them make long-term, sustainable changes in their lives.

“We look forward to our new day rehabilitation service being established in Tamworth so that we can start to make a difference to the lives of local people. We will supporting people in their recovery from addiction and assisting them on their journey towards restoring a healthy lifestyle.”

Funding for all of these programs and services have been allocated through the PHN’s commissioning process. The commissioning of health services is undertaken following a transparent tendering process that is informed by the PHN’s baseline needs assessment and associated market analysis. Commissioning is a holistic process that enables the PHN to plan and contract health care services that are appropriate and relevant to the needs of local communities.