Development of the stage one plan for the Medicare Locals After Hours Program
The primary purpose of this project was to support the Illawarra Shoalhaven Medicare Local in its first phase of planning for after-hours primary care services. All Medicare Locals were required to complete a whole-of-region needs assessment and stage one plan prior to 18 May 2012 through wide-ranging consultation with their members.
Primary care is the part of Australia’s health system that people use most. It is the first – primary – point of health care delivered in, and to people living in their communities – outside of hospitals. The aim of the Australian Government’s reforms to after hours primary care is to provide all Australians, regardless of where they live, with accessible and effective after hours primary care services.
 Australian Government, National Health Reform Medicare Locals - Guidelines for after hours primary care responsibilities until 30 June 2013. Available at: http://www.yourhealth.gov.au/internet/yourhealth/publishing.nsf/content/A28A1174C6B2DBDACA2579540005F692/$File/MLAH%20Program%20Guidelines.pdf accessed 18 April 2012.