2016 Metro North Health Forum

Brisbane brought together the brightest minds in health policy on 1 June 2016 for the Metro North Health Forum, a joint initiative with the Metro North Hospital and Health Service.

This video includes snapshots from the presentations by keynote speakers.

Bringing the nation’s healthcare system together will require a greater focus on regional systems of management and only PHNs can achieve this in primary care, according to the Grattan Institute’s Dr Stephen Duckett.

Dr Duckett was key note speaker at the 2016 Metro North Health Forum, an annual event which showcases how Brisbane North PHN and the Metro North Hospital and Health Service (HHS) are working together to improve health.

He began by comparing the budget of a typical PHN (around $50 million) to that of the total health spend in their regions (around $5 billion), which Dr Duckett said was like “a pea trying to influence an elephant”.

“Now that’s not necessarily bad, but as a result of that you’ve got to think very carefully about what your influence strategy is,” he said.

Dr Duckett then proceeded to discuss some of the key findings of a recent Grattan Institute report into chronic disease management in Australia, within the context of integrated care.

He stressed the importance of regional systems management to effect change in chronic disease care. 

“We’ve got to have a regional system of management and in my view, PHNs are the only game in town in terms of a primary care system of management,” he said.

“If we are to transform the primary care system to actually be better placed to deal with chronic disease, there is not just one simple intervention…you’ve got to have multiple strategies.

“PHNs are the core…but there has to be multiple strategies and they all have to go in the same direction. 

“There’s no point saying to PHNs, for example, we want you to ensure greater continuity of chronic disease management in your area, if all the financial incentives of general practice are working in the opposite direction. 

“So you’ve got to have alignment of incentives, you’ve got to have alignment of rhetoric, you’ve got to have of alignment policies, all the way along, otherwise you’re doomed to failure,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Brisbane North PHN Chief Executive Abbe Anderson had spoken about the changes that came about with the arrival of PHNs and the priorities the government had given them.

Among them, Ms Anderson said potentially preventable hospitalisation was one of the main reasons for the creation of PHNs and it was a focus which aligned with Brisbane North PHN’s core goal of keeping people well and out of hospital.

Dozens more speakers were engaged at the 2016 forum across three concurrent streams covering the National Disability Insurance Scheme, mental health, and initiatives to help people access the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

Among the other VIPs contributing to the program were Mental Health Australia’s CEO Frank Quinlan and Professor Nick Lennox from the Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability.

The event was held at the Royal International Convention Centre (Brisbane) on 1 June 2016 and attracted a grand total of 316 registered attendees from across the healthcare sector, making it the largest and most successful Metro North Health Forum to date.