About Cophe

Community-Owned Primary Health Enterprise (COPHE) is a small team working to grow community influence in primary health care, especially by owning and running services to meet the needs of their community.

In particular, we believe that some communities, or population groups, would receive better primary health care, more attuned to their specific needs and circumstances, if such services were actually owned or run by those communities or by the not-for-profit non-government organisations (NGOs) that work closely with them.

We believe that there are many opportunities for existing community services, or non-medical community based health services, to augment their services by adding primary health staff including GPs to provide an integrated service, based on multidisciplinary care and a social model of health.

We believe that growing this community-owned sector is one way to counter the increasing corporatisation of primary health care. COPHE is currently distributing articles and running workshops on this idea, and is interested in working with interested parties on subsequent specific proposals.

COPHE is also interested in assisting primary health care services, including medical practices, to better understand their practice and sustainability. Our work assists services by analysing both the financials of the practice but also the use of Medicare (MBS) items by each practitioner against benchmarks.

The COPHE idea

COPHE aims to increase the access of affordable and appropriate primary health care to poorly-served communities or client groups by supporting local community groups or non-government organisations to develop such services.

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Why COPHE?

There is evidence that many groups within the community do not have adequate access to primary healthcare services. These include some geographical communities with low numbers of General Practitioners (GPs) as well as some population groups who find it hard to get the kind of care they need. COPHE also undertakes financial analyses of primary health services/GP practices to assist them to be sustainable and develop new models of multidisciplinary care.

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What have people said about COPHE?

Professor Fran Baum gave a presentation on primary health care at the Adelaide workshop. She wrote this article about it afterwards.

Who is COPHE?

Rod Wilson, Tony McBride and Chris Love are three Victorians who between them have managed, worked in, and provided services for community health services.