Frequently Asked Questions

Primary Health Networks (PHNs) are independent not for profit commissioning organisations, funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

In the 2014 Budget, the Federal Government announced that PHNs would replace Medicare Locals from 1 July 2015.

Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN starts at the Glasshouse Mountains and stretches north of Yeppoon; west beyond Emerald, encompassing Rockhampton, Hervey Bay, Maryborough, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Gladstone and Bundaberg.

The PHN coordinates primary and preventive healthcare – that is, the healthcare that takes place outside of a hospital, such as GPs, allied health, chronic disease management, aged care, mental health and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health. Primary health care is recognised as the most effective way to keep communities and individuals healthy and well.

The PHN identifies where there are areas of need, such as lack of health care services, difficulty in accessing these services, or regions with particularly high health needs, and works closely with GPs, allied health care providers, hospitals and the broader community to ensure patients can receive the right care in the right place at the right time.

What we do:

The PHN utilises service mapping, data collection and community feedback in identifying health gaps in communities across our catchment. An example of a health gap may be a lack of access to a local GP, after hours service or allied health practitioner. The PHN will then tender for a best-fit service provider to meet the need. Our organisation does not directly deliver clinical services.

The PHN catchment is as diverse in health care needs as it is geography – every community is different. The PHN believes in commissioning cost-effective, sustainable services in our communities, including those in hard to reach places. Our Practice Support team works with local GPs to minimise wait times, maximise the services it may offer patients and ease pressure on hospital emergency departments by reducing the number of avoidable admissions. We also work to support and host professional development, education and training in all areas of the primary health care sector.

We understand effective, affordable and accessible primary health care services may only be achieved when community voices are heard and acted upon. The PHN works to bring together health organisations, community members engaging with health services, community Elders and local hospitals to meet a unified goal; healthier, happier communities.

No, the PHN is a commissioning organisation, meaning we don’t directly deliver medical services to our community. Instead we consult with community members and health professionals, as well as consider national and local health priorities to find the most suitable service providers across our catchment. To find out more about the health needs of your region, view our PHN Health Needs Assessment.
While the PHN focuses on the health needs specific to the Central Queensland, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast region, the Federal Government has set six key priority areas that underpin all planning and activity. These are:

  • mental health
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health
  • population health
  • health workforce
  • eHealth
  • aged care

We undertake an annual Health Needs Assessment which will inform locally tailored health priorities.

Sunshine Coast Health Network Ltd (SCHN) is the registered business entity that trades as Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN.

SCHN is a Company Limited By Guarantee and a registered charity.

Click map to view region