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NewsJoanne EisemannComment

FEBRUARY 2018 | Lorraine Clarke

TANYA BARRETT, Practice Manager for the Deloraine & Westbury Medical Centre, is enthusiastic about Health Care Homes, the new program being trialled through an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health to improve medical services access for those with chronic health issues.

The Medical Centre was successful in their bid to participate in the 2-year trial, being 1 of only 200 applicants approved for the program. Should the program prove as successful as it has been in the UK, USA and NZ, it will be rolled out Australia-wide after 31/12/2019.

All staffΠat Deloraine Medical Centre have been involved in comprehensive training to prepare for the December 2017 implementation of Health Care Homes which provides co-ordinated care for patients with chronic health issues, who elect to join the program.

Tanya explained, “We now have 8 GPs at the Medical Centre, since the recent arrival of Dr Abhaya Nanayakkara from Sri Lanka. Each doctor is allowed up to 55 patients enrolled in the scheme.

A team including GP, nurse, and visiting Allied Health professionals looks after each patient, liaising with carers and family to provide more co-ordinated access to services. Clients nominate their preferred GP, and Allied Health.”

“My Health Record” is an electronic database created through the program which enables other GPs and specialists throughout the country to access a patient’s medical history.

This solves a worrying problem for so many who choose to travel Australia. Grey nomads can head oΠinterstate visiting family, or embark on 6 months of sightseeing, confident in the continuity of informed medical treatment wherever they may find themselves.

Most consultations with Health Care Homes are bulk billed, with a gap payment for treatment room consumables.

Health Care Homes:

• A systematic approach to chronic and complex care management

• Provides a “home base” for enrolled patients, focussing on their individual needs

• Envisions empowered, engaged, satisfied and more health-literate patients, families and carers

• Delivers flexible, high-quality patient-centred, co-ordinated, team-based care

• Is built on a philosophy of collaboration and relationship

• Develops appropriate use of non-face-to-face phone and internet-based digital health options

• Offers an expanded service for some scripts and services to be ordered online (fee for service)

• Allows family members to collaborate in the program

• Assists the patient in connecting with Community agencies, Allied Health providers, hospitals, specialists, insurers, etc.

More information on the Health Care Homes program is available at or

Photo | Mike Moores