Better healthcare injected

PENRITH'S Medicare Local, which integrates primary health services, officially opened last Wednesday.

The Nepean-Blue Mountains Medicare Local builds on the general practice divisions in Penrith, Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains.

Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek and Lindsay federal MP David Bradbury attended the opening and lauded it as a great development in the Australian health system.

"The Nepean-Blue Mountains group will make it easier for patients to access the services they need, improving links between GPs, nursing and other health professionals, as well as hospitals and aged care," Ms Plibersek said.

"It's about getting different parts of the health system to work together."

She said although Australians had a good health system, there was always a need to improve outcomes by investing health funds in better ways.

Mr Bradbury said Medicare Local would help identify gaps in health services and better target people who needed them.

"The model provides the opportunity for GPs, nurses and other healthcare clinicians to be involved in key decisions about primary healthcare services," Mr Bradbury said.

Medicare Local chairman Shiva Prakash said he looked forward to what it could deliver.

"The organisation will work with GPs, nurses and allied health professionals to improve the patient's journey through developing integrated and co-ordinated services," Dr Prakash said.

Medicare Local transitional chief executive Sheila Holcombe said the health service was the first step on a new, exciting journey.

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