Primary care providers have important roles across the cancer continuum—from cancer prevention to discussing and delivering cancer screening tests, accurately diagnosing patients, providing care during and after treatment, both related to the cancer and comorbid conditions, and at the end of life with the delivery of palliative care.
Primary care is currently undergoing a further round of significant reforms with particular emphasis on people with chronic conditions and complex health care needs. Primary Health Networks have been established and are working with Local Hospital Networks with the goal of improving health system integration. Health Care Homes are being trialled in which patients with chronic conditions enrol with a general practice and the practice receives bundled payments for providing their care. At the same time there are significant drives to implement a national shared health summary (My Health Record) to improve timely communication across the health system and reduce duplication. Specific to cancer care, national Optimal Care Pathways are being implemented in an attempt to standardise care and reduce variation across the system.
This presentation will discuss some of the key implications for cancer care arising from these health care reforms. It will discuss challenges around implementation of optimal diagnostic pathways, and how the Health Care Homes and My Health Record create opportunities to improve the integration of cancer survivorship and palliative care in Australia.