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Making Health Better
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Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) is now inviting tender submissions for funding to develop a strategy and implementation plan focused on improving access to after-hours primary healthcare for residents of northern Queensland.

The aim of the After-Hours Needs Assessment Strategy tender is to increase understanding of current access gaps and barriers to primary health services in the after-hours period, which will inform future investment in after-hours services throughout the NQPHN region.

Guided by community access requirements to after-hours primary healthcare, the development of the plan should be focused on a service investment strategy that aims to:

  • increase access to primary health services
  • improve health system navigation between acute, tertiary, primary care, aged care, and Aboriginal controlled community health organisation (ACCHO) sectors
  • address social determinants that impact on access to primary health services after hours
  • account for the rural, remote, and diverse aspects of the northern Queensland geography, population, and health workforce
  • caters to at-risk cohorts, including, but not limited to, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with complex and chronic health conditions, people experiencing mental health conditions, people with disabilities, and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) populations.

The plan will cover all services provided in the after-hours period, which is deemed to be before 8am and after 6pm weekdays, before 8am and after 12pm on Saturdays, and all-day Sundays and public holidays.

This tender has been developed to address opportunities identified in NQPHN’s Health Needs Assessment (HNA).

NQPHN Chief Executive Officer John Gregg said tender submissions should be informed by a needs assessment, current funded programs, and research of literature with regards to best practice guidelines and opportunities for innovation.

“This project aims to contribute to improving health outcomes by increasing access to primary health services in the after-hours period, so northern Queenslanders can receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time,” Mr Gregg said.

“After hours primary health care covers accessible and effective primary health care for people whose health condition cannot wait for treatment until regular primary health care services are next available, and should not be a substitute for primary health care that could otherwise occur during normal operating hours.

“We are looking for applications that recommend evidence-based solutions to address needs which have been identified through data collection and consultations with service providers and consumers, and that will help northern Queenslanders live happier, healthier, longer lives.”

Applicants interested in applying for the tender should visit NQPHN’s online procurement portal at www.nqphn.com.au/commissioning