The Rural and Regional Health Partnerships were established in 2016, through targeted funding to six Regional Area Health Partnerships (RAHP) and one Local Area Health Partnership.

In 2018-19, the Department of Health and Human Services (the department) expanded funding to include 13 Local Area Health Partnerships (LAHP) and concurrently broadened the Health Partnership’s scope of work to five partnership functional areas:

  • planning and networks
  • workforce
  • access and care
  • quality and safety
  • key enablers.

The RAHP and LAHP worked in a complementary manner, the former more at a strategic level and the latter an operational level. Throughout 2018-19 the focus was on developing key relationships, implementing governance structures and planning work.

Regional Area Health Partnerships

From 1 July 2021, the RAHP have been integrated into Health Service Partnerships to preserve their important work while avoiding duplication.

Local Area Health Partnerships

The LAHP will continue alongside Health Service Partnerships. The LAHP in rural and regional Victoria drive local collaboration at an operational level, while also supporting the implementation of Health Service Partnership priorities in their local area.

While the LAHP may work on initiatives that fall outside the Health Service Partnership priorities, workplans should be coordinated and aligned at the Health Service Partnership level.


The Health Service Partnership policy and guidelines (Guidelines) detail the framework and expectations for how Local Area Health Partnerships and Health Service Partnerships operate. These Guidelines supersede the Rural and Regional Health Partnership guidelines 2020.