Medicare Locals – and the Future of Healthcare

Wednesday April 9th 2014  7pm 

The Regal Theatre, Birmingham Gardens

The next public forum of local think-tank The Newcastle Institute will give the public the opportunity to meet the new CEO of Hunter Medicare Local, Carol Bennett, and learn about future plans for primary healthcare services in the Hunter. 

“We need to talk less about health systems, and more about health”, Ms Bennett says.  “How can we begin to fulfil the fundamental belief that underpins everything we do at Hunter Medicare Local – how can we ensure that, everyone living in the Hunter has the opportunity to lead a healthy and fulfilling life?” 

Carol says “I will talk about some health programs and services.  But more importantly, I will discuss how we can change the community experience of health and health care to better respond to our needs as consumers, rather than responding to the needs of those who profit from the health system.”

‘Medicare Locals’ were established nationally three years ago as part of the by Federal Government’s Primary Healthcare Reforms. After three years, there remains widespread confusion and misunderstanding of their role

Hunter Medicare Local coordinates primary healthcare across the Hunter and Manning Region. The success of GP after hours, mental health programs, and collaboration with the Local Health District has led to recognition of Hunter Medicare Local as one of the leading primary healthcare organisations in the country. 

Prior to her current role, Carol was CEO of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) – the peak national organisation for health consumers in Australia.   Carol has worked at the executive level in health organisations for more than 15 years.  She is credited with achieving a number of national health policy changes across Australia.  Her move to Newcastle has been seen as a strong endorsement of the success of Hunter Medicare Local.



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