When big isn't beautiful: lessons from England and Scotland on primary health care organisations

James Dunbar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    United Kingdom primary care trusts resembled the primary health care organisations (PHCOs) that have been proposed for Australia - for example, Medicare Locals. They resulted in a loss of innovation, creativity, motivation and morale among general practitioners and other front-line staff. English primary care trusts are being abolished and £80 billion will be handed over to GP commissioners. Management theory and practical experience shows repeatedly the dangers of reorganising into larger units. Lessons for Australia are to defer deciding on the size of PHCOs until their purposes are clear, to enshrine the principle of subsidiarity, and to opt for networking of the current Divisions of General Practice over mergers. So far, debate on the functions and structures of PHCOs has been muted. It is now time for vigorous debate.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)219-221
    Number of pages3
    JournalMedical Journal of Australia
    Volume195
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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