Implementation strategy and the utilisation of the allied health workforce key to primary health care success, says the Australian Psychological Society

The success of the Government's primary health care strategy, released yesterday, will depend on the way in which it is implemented and the effective utilisation of the allied health workforce, according to the Australian Psychological Society.

The draft National Primary Health Care Strategy report "Building a 21st Century Primary Health Care System" outlines the Government's vision for an improved primary health care system.

The President of the APS, Professor Bob Montgomery, stated "the APS is pleased to see that the priority areas of change identified within the paper align with our submissions and the recently released National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission Report. We strongly support a strategy that focuses on improving access and reducing inequality in primary health care, improving the management of chronic disease through coordinated evidence based multidisciplinary interventions, and the delivery of preventive interventions at the earliest opportunity."

Professor Montgomery said that psychological expertise in behaviour change will contribute to the development of effective preventative health interventions and programs to tackle chronic disease, which are both major areas of concern.

"While this report provides the template for a reinvigorated primary health care system, it will be the implementation phase that will be crucial to the strategy's success," he said. "Utilising the allied health workforce will also be critical to both managing demand and delivering tailored interventions that are effective." 

As a professional organisation working in the primary health care area, the APS is committed to working with the Australian Government on the effective implementation of this report's vision, he added.

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The APS is the largest professional association for psychologists in Australia, representing more than 17,500 members. The APS is committed to advancing psychology as a discipline and profession. It spreads the message that psychologists make a difference to peoples' lives, through improving psychological knowledge and community wellbeing.

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