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Primary Health Network invests $80m in North Queensland

Published 22 December 2022

NQPHN's Annual Report 2021-22 details extent of healthcare services


North Queensland’s primary healthcare services’ commissioning organisation, Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN), has delivered more than 120 contracts valued at nearly $80 million across the region.

The expenditure during the 2021-22 financial year, which included five priority areas of Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs ($46.8 million), First Nations Health ($6.75 million), GPs and other Primary Care Professionals ($4.4 million), System Integration ($2.1 million), and Population Health ($1.1 million), was detailed in NQPHN’s Annual Report 2021-22 released recently.

NQPHN’s new Board Chair Terry Mehan said the 2021-22 financial year marked the start of a new five-year Strategic Plan to guide NQPHN to commission primary health care services to meet local health needs.

“One standout project that was commissioned and implemented during this time was the Townsville Head to Health centre, which provides caring, friendly, and helpful mental health and wellbeing support in a calm, safe, and welcoming environment,” said Mr Mehan.

He said NQPHN received funding in December 2020 to establish and trial the Adult Mental Health Centre (AMHC) in Townsville, as part of a national trial and in line with a national service model and principles.

“NQPHN delivered the project on deadline (with service delivery commencing in December 2021), on budget, and via a comprehensive commissioning and local co-design process,” said Mr Mehan.

“The Independent Evaluation of Head to Health and AMHCs, released in April 2022 and prepared by Nous Group on behalf of the Department of Health, included a case study on the commissioning process of the Townsville AMHC as an exemplar of best-practice and ‘gold star’ commissioning.”

Since its opening, the centre has helped 360 people, with 68.3 per cent receiving a comprehensive assessment to meet their mental health needs. Of the 360, 53.7 per cent were considered at risk of suicide.

In the 2021-22 financial year, NQPHN funded services for First Nations people that:

  • delivered culturally appropriate primary and preventative health care
  • improved access to primary health care particularly in rural and remote areas
  • empowered communities to advance localised approaches to delivering primary health care.

In particular, Integrated Team Care (ITC) programs helped First Nations people access primary healthcare and key statistics included:

  • taking patients to and from appointments 21,939 times
  • providing support to access services and appointments 13,077 times
  • providing support for specialist services 740 times
  • providing outreach support assistance 15,891 times to 7,228 patients
  • providing dose administration aids 1,313 times
  • providing mobility aids 339 times.

Mr Mehan said, “our vision for the year ahead is to build on our existing relationships and engage more strongly with our members, stakeholders, and the North Queensland primary health care workforce.”

“We are committed to working with our stakeholders to ensure the residents of North Queensland receive the best health care available,” said Mr Mehan.

“We are also looking to making a meaningful and measurable impact in our strategic 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’s Annual Report 2021-22 can be viewed at

Last updated: 03 February 2023