On 21 August 2022 the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, announced five new GP-led ‘Priority Primary Care Centres’ (PPCCs). On 30 August 2022 he announced a further 20 PPCCs. Primary health networks (PHNs) are commissioning these clinics in partnership with the Victorian Department of Health. The PPCCs will be open 7 days a week for up to 16 hours a day. They will handle conditions such as mild infections, fractures and burns, and offer pathology and imaging services on site. Patients will be able to access care at a PPCC with or without a Medicare card. The PPCCs are in addition to the Australian Labor Party’s 50 new ‘Medicare Urgent Care Clinics’. The Australian Government is yet to confirm the contract process for these.
The first PPCC will be opening in Epping in late September and provide a template for the roll out of further centres across the state. The centres aim to complement existing general practices without increasing workforce shortages as well as provide care to patients who need it quickly but who do not need to present to emergency departments. The centres will offer more options to patients in after-hours periods and prove that investment in general practice makes economic sense and leads to improved patient outcomes.
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