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Working together for better health

Posted on January 8, 2020

Primary Health Tasmania supports a whole-of-system approach – involving all levels of government plus service providers and consumers – to improving the health of all Tasmanians.

Joining the public discussion about how Tasmanians – particularly those with low incomes – can access appropriate and affordable care, Primary Health Tasmania (Tasmanian PHN) CEO Phil Edmondson says there are many factors that contribute to poor health outcomes.

“While some people undeniably have difficulties accessing affordable primary health care close to home, we know that around 85% of Tasmanians visit a GP each year,” Mr Edmondson says.

“Last year, almost half of these people were from the most socioeconomically disadvantaged portion of the population.

“The most disadvantaged people in this group saw a GP about three times more often than those in the least disadvantaged portion of the population.

“So someone may have good access to health care but still have poor health outcomes because of other factors, including the social determinants of health – things like income, education, housing, and access to transport.”

He says Primary Health Tasmania supports greater investment in community-based solutions to Tasmania’s health challenges.

“We have a highly skilled primary health care system in this state made up of hardworking GPs, nurses and allied health professionals, but often this part of the health system is invisible compared to the focus on hospitals and hospital beds,” Mr Edmondson says.

“Complex issues like improving health outcomes within our state’s health system require a collaborative approach.

“That’s why Primary Health Tasmania supports a whole-of-system approach to improving our state’s health outcomes, for the benefit of all Tasmanians.

“That means that all players in the field – from GPs and other primary healthcare professionals to hospital staff, policymakers and consumers with lived experience – have a role to play in contributing to an integrated, effective health system.”

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