The After Hours Primary Health Care Program

Project Details

The evaluation sought to assess the extent to which the AGPH is:

  • Provides access to after hours GP telephone advice when needed (reported on separately)
  • Ensures that local after hours primary care services are well planned, coordinated and appropriate to community needs
  • Ensures that appropriate primary care services are accessible when needed in both the sociable and unsociable after hours periods, including for disadvantaged groups such as the residents of aged care facilities, the house bound aged and palliative care patients
  • Ensures patients are directed to the most appropriate point of care for their condition
  • Provides better support for health professionals in the arrangement and/or provision of after hours care for patients.

Project summary

The After Hours Primary Health Care Program was the vehicle for the Australian Government's after hours primary care reforms. It had two arms: establishment of an afterhours GP telephone advice service to those with urgent after hours care needs and the funding of Medicare Locals to prioritise local after hours care needs, plan for service responses and provide funds to support local after hours initiatives aimed at improving access. The evaluation profiled the after hours activity of Medicare Locals; assessed primary care provider reactions to after hours reform, examined trends in after hours service utilisation and undertook a national stakeholder consultation. The findings of the evaluation have not yet been approved for release by the Department of Health and Ageing.


Rosemary McKenzie

Professor David Dunt

Michelle Williamson

Allison Yates


Department of Health and Ageing

Research Group

School Research Themes

Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Health Policy

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