How is the Network Funded?
The majority of funding for the Network comes from the Commonwealth Department of Health & Ageing.
Prior to 1998 Divisions were funded through Infrastructure and Projects Grants. Under this system Divisions had to apply for funding for specific projects they wanted to undertake. Within the project grants a proportion of funding went to administrative activities. In 1998 a new funding arrangement was implemented with Divisions. Each Division was advised that it would have a single 18-month contract, which would supersede individual infrastructure and project grant arrangements.
In 1999 Divisions received formal contracts, which covered a three-year period. Divisions were to provide an agreed program of activities with performance being measured against agreed objectives.
The Divisions were to aim for outcomes in the following areas:
- Service to members including professional development, practice support, advocacy, locum support and help to resolve workforce problems;
- Improving the interaction between GPs and patients, for example providing models of healthcare for the management of chronic conditions; improving GPs and patients’ access to health care providers through better integration; education for patients; and scientifically based screening programs;
- Improving the health of the population;
- Providing infrastructure, including the development of strategic plans, internal management structures and mechanisms, for liaising with relevant organisations.
Outcomes based funding is essentially the provision of lump sum funding to Divisions to undertake activities and projects with defined achievable outcomes, as stated in the Strategic and Business Plans.