Medicare Locals to morph into PHNs

Health Minister Peter Dutton announced on budget night the 61 Medicare Locals around the country would be axed in favour of bigger region-based primary healthcare bodies with a central role for GPs, more private-sector involvement and a clear mission to keep people out of hospitals.

As of 1 July next year the government will replace the 61 Medicare Locals with a far smaller number of new entities to improve efficiency. Tenders will be invited later this year. New boundaries are to be drawn up.

The new Primary Health Networks (PHNs) will be aligned more closely with state and territory health networks to