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Report

The value of the divisions network:an evaluation of the effect of divisions of general practice on primary care performance

3 Apr 2007
Description

Established in 1992, divisions are now a recognised and valued part of the Australian health care system offering a network-based approach to supporting general practice-based primary health care and enhancing co-ordination with the rest of the health care system through a diverse set of activities. Measurement of the impact divisions have in improving the performance of the primary health care system is the basis of this research.Divisions of General Practice are regionally based organisations supporting the delivery of primary care services provided by General Practitioners. There are 120 covering all of Australia and represent the only major structural reform of the health care system since Medicare was introduced in 1984. Established in 1992, divisions are now a recognised and valued part of the Australian health care system offering a network-based approach to supporting general practice-based primary health care and enhancing co-ordination with the rest of the health care system through a diverse set of activities. $8 per Australian was spent on the divisions network in 2004/5. This is very low compared to total health spending of $4,319 per Australian, and to $1,098 per Australian on public hospitals. The new National Quality and Performance System (NPQS) for divisions currently being introduced will further demonstrate their value in the future. However, a detailed analysis of the NPQS data will not be available for some time.

More immediate measurement of the impact divisions have in improving the performance of the primary health care system is required and is the basis of this research. The research is the most in-depth evaluation of the divisions network to date. Although it does not reflect the full range of activities that divisions perform which, like many primary care interventions, remain hard to measure, it provides some initial evidence on the impact of divisions on a measurable range of primary care performance between 2002 and 2004, the time period for which complete data were available.

Publication Details
Published year only: 
2007
11
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