Better than nothing? Restrictions and realities of enhanced primary care for allied health practitioners

Foster, Michele, Cornwell, Petrea, Fleming, Jennifer, Mitchell, Geoffrey, Tweedy, Sean, Hart, Alison and Haines, Terry (2009) Better than nothing? Restrictions and realities of enhanced primary care for allied health practitioners. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 15 4: 326-334. doi:10.1071/PY08065

Author Foster, Michele
Cornwell, Petrea
Fleming, Jennifer
Mitchell, Geoffrey
Tweedy, Sean
Hart, Alison
Haines, Terry
Title Better than nothing? Restrictions and realities of enhanced primary care for allied health practitioners
Journal name Australian Journal of Primary Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1448-7527
Publication date 2009-11-26
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/PY08065
Volume 15
Issue 4
Start page 326
End page 334
Total pages 9
Editor Rae Walker
Libby Kalucy
Place of publication Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
Publisher Australian Institute for Primary Care and School of Public Health, La Trobe University
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
920208 Health Policy Evaluation
111717 Primary Health Care
110703 Autoimmunity
110708 Transplantation Immunology
160508 Health Policy
Abstract Participation of allied health professionals (AHP) in the Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) program is increasing. However, access to allied health services is strictly delineated under the EPC program and AHP face unique practice realities in providing care to patients with chronic conditions. This paper examines the discretionary practices adopted by AHP in response to the realities at the policy–practice interface and situates the discussion within a description of their experiences with EPC. Semistructured telephone interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of fifteen AHP. Participants were selected from a larger cohort who responded to a questionnaire about EPC. The EPC program was perceived as a positive start, although some aspects were problematic. Participants reported that the restriction on the number of subsidised sessions was not conducive to providing a good allied health service to patients with complex care needs and remuneration was not commensurate with the nature and scope of treatment required. The AHP in this study spoke of the dilemma of wanting to assist patients but at the same time to operate a financially viable business. Moreover, their experience was that multidisciplinary team care was implied rather than reality. Abbreviated care practices, reasonable solutions for access, and entrepreneurial practices were strategies used to manage the policy–practice tensions.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

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Created: Thu, 08 Apr 2010, 11:53:36 EST by Mark Holland on behalf of School of Social Work and Human Services