Before you enrol, check with your doctor or practice receptionist about the cost. Some people don’t have to pay out-of-pocket expenses when they see the doctor; while others must pay a contribution. WQ HCH will work the same way. Your practice will be able to tell you if you need to pay anything.
You do not have to enrol in WQ HCH if you don’t want to, and you will not be penalised if you don’t. Joining WQ HCH is voluntary.
If you do sign up for WQ HCH, you can keep seeing the doctors you know and trust. The benefit of the WQ HCH is that it makes it easier for all the people who look after you to better coordinate care based on your needs.
Your care team already work hard to coordinate your care, however the WQ HCH formalises this and gives your care team more flexibility to tailor care and services to each patient.
For example, WQ HCH patients can see their practice nurse, without needing to see their GP for every visit. Some practices will also give their WQ HCH patients better access to appointments with their doctor or someone else from their care team.
These plans will form the basis of a new shared care plan. For example, if you have a GP management plan, you will continue to be eligible for up to five allied health services each calendar year.
Some will keep their appointment schedules free at certain times for Health Care Home patients to drop in, or get an appointment ASAP. Every WQ HCH will be different. Ask your doctor or practice receptionist how this will work in your practice.
Another advantage of the WQ HCH is that patients may not always have to physically come in to the practice. Instead, patients might be able to call or email the practice or use the new Healthdirect Video Call software we are trialling which provides telehealth services direct to patients (for further information see the fact sheet).
We are aware that in some places in Western Queensland, there are longer than usual wait times to see your preferred doctor. However, when you are at home, you should always try to go to your WQ HCH. When you are travelling, however, you can see another doctor.
If you get really sick, your care team will continue to care for you and may also work with you to adjust your care plan. If you go to hospital, the care team will follow up with the hospital.
Being a WQ HCH patient will not affect your eligibility for the Queensland Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS) isolated travel and accommodation allowance payments.
Yes, you can withdraw from your WQ HCH any time. However, if you are unhappy about any aspect of your care, talk to your care team first. They might be able to help.
If your local AICCHS or your practice becomes a WQ HCH, ask your doctor or practice receptionist for more information about WQ HCH.
A brochure for Indigenous consumers is also available here.
If you enrol as a WQ HCH patient, then your care team will coordinate your care, from visits to the GP, through to specialist visits, scripts, blood pressure checks, physiotherapy, podiatry and other health services.
The WQ HCH will also work with the integrated team care (ITC) program arrangements for chronic care; and will coordinate other health services provided by state, territory and local governments or community groups.