As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, we mobilised our team to ensure we could adapt and respond to a rapidly changing environment.  

As part of the state and federal health system, our focus was to work in partnership with governments, other organisations, health professionals and our funded service providers to ensure the Western Australian community could continue to access high quality primary health care.

Key Achievements - Primary Care Readiness and Support

  • Facilitated the establishment of 12 GP Respiratory Clinics in WA, as part of the national primary health response to COVID-19.
GP-led Respiratory Clinics have supported the national response to COVID-19
  • Developed and deployed the logistical strategy to distribute masks from the National Stockpile to GPs and pharmacies across WA, with almost 222,000 masks distributed in the first three months.
  • Developed 12 COVID-19 specific HealthPathways ranging from clinical information on assessment and testing, to setting up practice workflows and the impact on local services. This resulted in a 200% year on year increase in website usage.
  • Quadrupled our Practice Assist workforce duringthe height of the pandemic to respond to a 500% increase in requests for support from general practice.
  • Established a bespoke training and support package for the HealthDirect telehealth platform, delivered to more than 140 general practices.
  • Facilitated a series of Virtual Communities of Practice events focusing on key topics confronting general practice.
  • Supported general practice and commissioned service providers to interpret rapidly evolving federal and state government policies, particularly with regard to MBS telehealth items, telehealth and electronic prescribing through targeted and timely updates.
  • Supported the Australian Government with evidence-based selection of Respiratory Clinic locations through developing interactive maps that plotted available health services (including emergency departments) against populations more vulnerable to poor health outcomes as a result of COVID-19.
  • Supported pandemic planning initiatives through securing access to a data feed of up to date information on COVID-19 cases and hotspot locations.
  • Supported commissioned service providers during COVID-19 with up-to-date advice, readiness plans, resources and additional funding to increase workforce mobility and assure the safety of their staff and clients.

Key Achievements - Advocacy and communication

  • Advocated nationally as part of the national PHN network to amplify the important role of PHNs in stewarding primary care through the pandemic.
  • Advocated on behalf of primary care through participation in various health and social services interagency bodies on topics including influenza vaccine supplies, private pathology providing COVID-19 testing, inclusion of GPs in COVID-19 patient discharge pathways, inclusion of a person’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status on pathology request forms and, overall, improved communication between hospitals and GPs.
  • Provided free access to EAP counselling services to WA general practice teams and our commissioned service providers to help navigate the COVID-19 response, including assistance to deal with the pressures that arise professionally and personally.
  • Negotiated an unprecedented partnership with six medical and health agencies to produce a daily COVID-19 bulletin for GPs.
  • Our See Your GP campaign materials developed in response to a decrease in general practice presentations (believed to be related to COVID-19 fears), were seen online more than 5 million times and downloaded more than 1000 times by general practices and other organisations. The campaign also reached close to half a million newspaper readers.
  • Produced a concise guide to accessing mental health and alcohol and other drug support during COVID-19, to help referrers and patients to find the services they needed.
  • Launched a COVID-19 mental health support campaign, garnering 10 million views. Read our case study.

Key Achievements - Supporting our staff

  • Supported our staff and stakeholders to navigate the pandemic through establishing Emergency Response and Plan Ahead Teams to help our workforce transition to working remotely and make subsequent decisions about the way we work. Read our case study.
  • Focused on shaping WAPHA to emerge as a stronger, agile organisation, including exploring the many possibilities caused by the disruption of COVID-19 and reimagining our ways of working and interacting with our stakeholders.

Case Study

Our Priorities

The work we do across our seven pillars, or priority areas, helps those at risk of poor health outcomes by addressing health inequity and improving access to services that transform and save lives. Read about this year’s achievements and some of the great work being done with our key partners and the deliver better health, together.

Aboriginal Health

Improving the health of Aboriginal Western Australians is a critical concern.

View Aboriginal Health

Aged Care

We are committed to increasing access for older Western Australians to primary healthcare.

View Aged Care

Alcohol and Other Drugs

Our focus is on providing services that respond to people as a whole.

View Alcohol and Other Drugs

Digital Health

Digital health helps us to identify priorities, link services, and fund options for better primary care.

View Digital Health

Health Workforce

We build the capacity and capability ofthe primary healthcare workforce to help more people access the care they need.

View Health Workforce

Mental Health

We know that mental ill health is one the biggest health challenges forWestern Australians.

View Mental Health

Population Health

Improving population health contributes to the wellbeing of communities across our State.

View Population Health