CHF supports the intent and the development of the NSQPH Standards to protect the public from harm and improve the quality of care delivered across a broad range of primary health care settings. The Standards are also an important way to provide transparency for consumers and service providers about the expected standards of safety and quality that should be met and the ongoing requirement for continuous quality improvement.
Primary health care covers a wide range of services, including general practice, dentistry, nursing, midwifery, optometry, pharmacology, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology and more. We know that health systems with a strong primary health care focus are more efficient, have lower rates of hospitalisation, fewer health inequalities and better health outcomes. Effective, integrated and comprehensive primary health care which is consumer-centred and takes a whole-of-person approach is critical to better meeting the needs of individuals, families and communities.
We also know that primary health care in Australia is facing a range of challenges, including the growing burden of chronic disease, an ageing population, adverse funding incentives to achieve volumes of services rather than better outcomes, workforce challenges, and digital innovation. We support the development of the NSQPH Standards to continue to strengthen Australia’s primary health care system, supporting services to cope with these challenges.
CHF's full submission can be accessed below.