After hours primary health care is accessible and effective primary health care for people whose health condition cannot wait for treatment until regular primary health care services are next available. It should not be a substitute for primary health care that could otherwise occur 'in hours'.
New funding arrangements for after hours service provision were implemented on 1 July 2015 and consist of funding for:
- PIP After Hours Incentive program through the Australian Government
- PHNs to support locally-tailored after hours services
- An after hours GP advice and support line.
Murray PHN engaged The University of Melbourne in late 2017, to undertake an evaluation of after hours activities. The evaluation was carried out to better understand the impact of previously commissioned services and to assist in developing a strategic framework and guiding principles for future investment.
The After Hours GP advice and support line (1800 022 222), is operated by healthdirect Australia and aims to better support Australians who do not have access to face to face GP services in the after hours period.