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Primary Health Network invests $63M in North Queensland

Published 06 December 2023

NQPHN 2022-23 annual report details key milestones

Northern Queensland Primary Health Network invested $63M in North Queensland in the last financial year.

Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) delivered more than 150 primary health care service contracts across the region, valued at more than $63.7 million, as outlined in the recent 2022-23 Annual Report.

Other significant milestones have also been highlighted, including more than 4,000 engagements with primary health providers and notable advancements in mental health services.

Board Chair Terry Mehan said NQPHN was committed to strategically advancing health care access and outcomes for North Queenslanders.

“Our focus is to commission primary health care services that cater to the unique health needs of our region, ensuring quality healthcare reaches every corner of North Queensland,” Mr Mehan said.

“Looking back on the past year, we're delighted with the positive impacts our team have achieved within our priority areas of First Nations Health, Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs, GPs and Other Primary Care Professionals, Population Health, and Systems Integration.”

NQPHN Executive Director Health System Integration and Innovation Karin Barron said during the 2022-23 financial year NQPHN continued to take a leading role in engaging and supporting primary care providers through various capability and capacity-building activities. 

“Our teams were involved in more than 1,700 occasions of urban practice engagement and support, and 830 occasions of rural practice engagement and support,” Mrs Barron said.

“We also worked with more than 2,000 participants in our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program, which provides clinicians and their teams with access to local training to build health workforce capability.

Mental health has been a major priority for NQPHN as several significant initiatives got under way with codesign and planning.

“Mental health is one of the biggest health issues facing Australians right now,” Mrs Barron said.

“In the past year, NQPHN embarked on a journey to develop a new stepped care model aimed at improving mental health support for North Queenslanders facing challenges.

“This collaborative effort involved extensive input from GPs, health professionals, individuals with lived experience, and community members. We held more than 16 codesign workshops and 40 individual meetings, resulting in more than 500 engagements with people.”

Joint funding by the Australian and Queensland Governments for a Head to Health centre in Cairns was another significant step forward for mental health care in the region.

NQPHN worked hard to deliver on the Federal Government’s announcement of two new Medicare Urgent Care Clinics (UCCs) in North Queensland to launch in Cairns and Townsville.

Meanwhile, an ambitious 12-month program to dramatically improve access to culturally safe health assessments and coordinated care for First Nations people was also a highlight of 2022-23 financial year. 

With 13.75 per cent of the identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of northern Queensland having a billed 715 Health Assessment in a 12-month period, the First Nations Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) program was developed to improve access. 

“The program attracted 75 participating health services, with more than 545 face-to-face and virtual education event participants,” Mrs Barron said.

Additional achievements and milestones are included in the NQPHN 2022-23 Annual Report, as well as good news stories that highlight the positive impact NQPHN’s funded health services are making on the community.

“Our mission to provide the right care, at the right place, at the right time for North Queensland communities has been the driving force behind our efforts this past year,” Mrs Barron said.

“We're proud to showcase some of the outcomes of the collective dedication of our team, partners, providers, and health professionals to help address the health needs in our region.”

NQPHN’s 2022-23 Annual Report can be viewed at

Last updated: 06 December 2023