Northern Melbourne Medicare Local
Characteristics of the local area:The Northern Melbourne Medicare Local comprises a very diverse community. The southern section of the area includes the Banyule and Darebin local government areas (LGAs). It is a generally affluent area with an older, stable population, with some pockets of socioeconomic disadvantage and small areas of recently arrived refugees, particularly from the Horn of Africa. The percentage of the population aged over 65 years is expected to double in the next 13 years.
The northern section covers Nillumbik, Hume and Whittlesea and comprises some of the fastest growing LGAs in Australia. The populations of Hume and Whittlesea are expected to double in the next 10 years as young families compete for available land.
New key activities as a Medicare Local:To meet the strategic objectives for a Medicare Local, the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local will undertake a range of activities that will initially include:
- Completing a service gap analysis of priority areas such as after hours care, post-acute and step-down care, hospital-residential aged care, hospital outpatients, access to chronic disease education/rehabilitation, preventive mental health, adolescent mental health, combined drug and alcohol-mental health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services, and access pathways for newly arrived persons.
- Promoting comprehensive diabetes management through primary health care services for people with diabetes.
- Establishing a care pathway to ensure universal access to cardiac rehabilitation.
- Offering grants to agencies interested in piloting specific support activities to non-GP primary health care providers.
- Integrating the Mental Health Nurse Initiative to address interface problems.
Achievements to date:The North East Valley and Northern Melbourne Divisions have:
- Completed Coordinated Care Trials 1 and 2.
- Established a diabetes program.
- Introduced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander liaison officers and GP liaison officers at all hospitals in the region.
- Delivered a refugee health program.
- Identified local service gaps.
- Assisted to implement the State Government’s Mental Health Reform Strategy.
- Participated in the Australian Primary Care Collaboratives Program.
- Provided practical support to practices through practice nurses.
- Participated in the Chronic Disease Collaborative to improve the interface between acute and primary care.
- Adopted an e-referral system to facilitate confidential and timely transfer of patient health information.
- Developed and promote e-health strategies.
- Participated in the Aged Care Access Initiative.
- Established after hours GP clinics.
Local partnerships:The Northern Melbourne Medicare Local consists of a wide ranging group of partners including Divisions of General Practice, community health centres, primary care partnerships, local public hospitals, and local government. In addition, membership of the Medicare Local will be open to a wide range of organisations, both public and private, reflecting the diversity of health service providers in the northern suburbs of Melbourne.
Consultation mechanisms and structure:A representative group nominated by the local Primary Care Partnerships and Divisions of General Practice has been meeting regularly since March 2011. This group continued to meet after the successful application for a Tranche 1 Medicare Local and has been working to create a comprehensive and inclusive constitution for the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local. Nominations for the founding directors have been received from the various organisations.
The initial Board membership of seven provides for two general practice representatives, two community health representatives, an independent chair, a private sector non-GP representative, and a Local Hospital Network representative. The final Board membership of nine will provide for an equally broad cross-section of the sector, with the important inclusion of two additional independent skills-based directors.
Contact details:Northern Melbourne Medicare Local
Level 1, 599 Sydney Road
Coburg VIC 3058
Ph: (03) 9353 8555
Northern Melbourne Medicare Local email address
Northern Melbourne Medicare Local website
Northern Melbourne Medicare Local (PDF 407 KB)
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