Nurses at the table for healthcare reform

The future of Australia’s healthcare system will be influenced by nurses.

APNA President and veteran of primary health care reform Karen Booth has been appointed by Health Minister Greg Hunt to advise on the development of the Government’s Primary Health Care 10-Year Plan.

The Primary Health Reform Steering Group was announced today with heavy hitters of primary health care coming together under the Government’s Long Term National Health Plan to build a mentally and physically healthy Australia.

With APNA and Karen Booth representing them, primary health care nurse professionals from across Australia are front and centre of healthcare policy and planning, and have a seat at the table alongside Government.

Ms Booth brings considerable experience with appointments across all major arms of health reform over the past decade, including the Government’s Primary Health Care Advisory Group; Health Care Homes Clinical Reference Group; Health Care Homes Education Advisory Group; MBS Review General Practice Primary Care Clinical Committee, Allied Health Reference Group, and Nurse Practitioner Reference Group; and Diabetes Care Project.

Ms Booth is an unfaltering nurse leader and representative of the primary health care nurse profession.

Just days ago Ms Booth represented primary health care nurses at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), raising patient awareness and acceptance of the National Primary Health Care Data Asset, and asserting the need for a big picture approach to nurse workforce planning and policy.

‘Primary health care nurses are ideally placed to play a fundamental role in addressing the current and future needs of Australians,’ said Ms Booth.

‘Not only do primary health care nurses improve timely access to care for health consumers, there are huge cost savings to our national health system for properly utilising nurses’ skills.’

One-in-four Australian primary health care nurses say they are under-utilised and could be doing more to improve the health of Australians.

‘Nurses working to their full scope of practice in high functioning, interdisciplinary teams means better access to healthcare, cost-efficiencies and truly holistic, patient-centred care,’ said Ms Booth.

APNA’s advocacy push to make nurses valued, visible and respected under its Nurse 2022 campaign aligns with the Government’s Long Term National Health Plan, by:

  • Changing the perception of nurses’ value and to facilitate the adoption of funding models that support the optimisation of primary health care nursing in general practice settings
  • Improving the profile of primary health care nurses and recognition of the value of primary health care nurses
  • Improving the understanding of scope of practice to ensure optimisation of the nurse role at the individual, business and system level.


The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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