Frequently Asked Questions
What are Medicare Locals and what will they do?
Medicare Locals were established in every region across Australia as a key component of the Government’s National Health Reforms.
As primary health care organisations established to coordinate primary health care delivery and tackle local health care needs and service gaps, Medicare Locals drive improvements in primary health care and ensure that services are better tailored to meet the needs of local communities.
Medicare Locals have a number of key roles in improving primary health care services for local communities.
- They make it easier for patients to access the services they need by linking local GPs, nursing and other health professionals, hospitals and aged care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations, and maintaining up to date local service directories.
- They work closely with Local Hospital Networks to make sure that primary health care services and hospitals work well together for their patients.
- They plan and support local after hours face-to-face GP services.
- They identify where local communities are missing out on services they might need and coordinate services to address those gaps.
- They support local primary care providers, such as GPs, practice nurses and allied health providers, to adopt and meet quality standards.
- They are accountable to local communities to make sure the services are effective and of high quality.
What area does the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local cover?
The Northern Melbourne Medicare Local region covers the local government areas of Banyule, Darebin, Hume, Nillumbik and Whittlesea.
Is the Medicare Local part of Medicare?
Despite our name, the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local is not part of Medicare.
How did the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local come about?
The North East Valley, Northern and Impetus Divisions of General Practice with the Hume Whittlesea and North East Primary Care Partnerships worked together to develop a proposal for Federal Government to form the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local.
Funding was received in July 2011 with the North East Valley Division of General Practice as the lead agency. An interim board was formed with the deed for the Medicare Local novated from the North East Valley Division of General Practice to the Interim Board in November 2011. The Northern Melbourne Medicare Local’s CEO Michelle Thompson was appointed in January 2012.
How is the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local be governed?
The Northern Melbourne Medicare Local is governed by a skills-based board of directors drawn from the membership.
Who can be a Member of the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local?
To be a member of the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local, your organisation needs to provide one or more health services in Northern Melbourne and be either:
(a) a “registered community health service” within the meaning of the Health Services Act 1988 (Vic);
(b) a “public hospital”, “public health service” or “denominational hospital” within the meaning of the Health Services Act 1988 (Vic);
(c) the “proprietor” of a “private hospital” within the meaning of the Health Services Act 1988 (Vic); or
(d) a body corporate.
Individuals can become Non-Member stakeholders. They can attend meetings but do not have speaking or voting rights. Non-Member stakeholders can also attend CPD and certain other events provided by the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local.
How can I get involved?
If you are a patient or community member, you can get involved in the Medicare Local by telling us about your health care experiences in the region and how they can be improved. Although we do not provide a complaints handling service, we are very interested in your positive suggestions for improving health care in Northern Melbourne. You can make suggestions on the Feedback page.
If you are a health care provider, you can get involved in the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local by sending in your membership application. You application will be assessed by the Board who will decide if you are eligible to be a member or a non-member stakeholder. We will register you on our database and you can start receiving information from us and getting involved in our events.
Will Continuing Professional Education still be offered for health care practitioners?
CPD is an important part of the Medicare Local’s role. The program offered is based on a survey of members views as to the CPD offerings that they would most like. If you would like to suggest CPD activities please contact firstname.lastname@example.org giving your suggested activity, preferred time and preferred location.