Chronic conditions

Chronic conditions are the leading cause of illness, disability and death in Australia, and this is putting unprecedented strain upon individuals, communities and the health system.

It is estimated that nearly 40 per cent of Australians aged 45 and over have two or more chronic diseases. Having more than one chronic condition is associated with worse health outcomes, more complex disease management and increased health costs.

It also means individuals require more services from a range of providers across the health system over extended periods of time.

Improving care for people with chronic conditions can make a real difference to the long term health and wellbeing of local residents. PHNs have an important role in facilitating, linking and co-designing activities within primary health care, and across the broader health and social care sectors, to improve development of coordinated and comprehensive care for prevention and management of chronic conditions.

An example of this is COORDINARE's chronic pain telehealth outreach service. This service has been offered to consumers in Southern NSW as part of a partnership between COORDINARE, Southern NSW Local Health District and St Vincent's Hospital Pain clinic. Watch the video which shares one person's successful experience accessing the service from the Far South Coast of NSW.

In addition, the St Vincent’s Hospital Multidisciplinary Pain team are providing chronic pain management up-skilling workshops for clinicians in Southern NSW through a joint collaboration with the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI), COORDINARE and Southern NSW Local Health District. The dates and locations for 2018 workshops will be available on the COORDINARE events pages.

COORDINARE in collaboration with the ACI is also providing local Chronic Pain Management Programs for people experiencing low to moderate chronic pain for more than six months. For details please contact Sue Rogers at

COORDINARE, as the South Eastern NSW PHN is working with local primary care providers and consumers to identify and implement locally appropriate initiatives to increase consumers’ capacity to manage their own chronic conditions focusing on the concept of patient activation.

The organisation announced funding for five new programs to focus on reducing overweight and obesity levels our local population. These evidence-based physical activity, nutrition and weight loss programs include:

  • Programmed shared medical appointments: Australasian Society for Lifestyle Medicine (ASLM) – eight medical practices have been selected to offer shared medical appointments in weight control. A series of medical consultations in a supportive group setting where individuals can listen, interact, and learn. Milton Medical Centre will be the initial hub, with centres located in Wollongong, Merimbula, Cooma and North Nowra, with the addition of an Aboriginal Medical Service.
  • Rural and regional service gaps: Grand Pacific Health – offering a series of evidence-based physical activity and nutrition programs to fill an identified service gap to tackle the issue of overweight and obesity in the South Eastern NSW region.
  • Active8, Peer Coaching and Eat, Plant, Learn: Neami National – programs to address the poor physical health, particularly the high incidence of overweight and obesity, commonly experienced by people who have a mental illness.
  • Obesity service: Shoalhaven Family Medical Centres – offering a centralised obesity service for clients in the Shoalhaven region to access weight management, assessment and screening. It will also provide training opportunities by specialists in the field of weight loss and obesity to health providers to build knowledge and skills in obesity engagement in the local area.
  • Pair up: Behaviour Design Works – offering a program to increase the physical activity levels of adults aged between 18 and 65 years in the Eurobodalla and Bega Valley.

Behaviour Design Works’ Pair Up program is funded until 30 December 2017, all other programs will be funded until 30 June 2018. Read more here.