About primary care

Primary care is health care people seek first in their community. Learn about common types of primary care and why it’s so important.

What primary care is

Primary care is generally the first service people go to for health care outside of a hospital or specialist. It includes diagnosis and treatment of health conditions and long-term care. Primary care also covers health promotion and prevention services.

Common types of primary care are:

  • general practice
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services
  • community health centres and walk-in clinics
  • community pharmacies
  • community nursing services
  • oral health and dental services
  • mental health services
  • drug and alcohol treatment services
  • sexual and reproductive health services
  • maternal and child health services
  • allied health services, such as psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors.

Why primary care is important

Primary care is crucial. It allows patients to access the right care at the right time. Effective primary care benefits patients, carers, families and the broader health system.

It leads to:

  • improved health outcomes
  • reduced pressure on hospital emergency departments.

Learn more about primary care in Australia.

Date last updated:

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