What we're doing about primary care

We’re improving primary care through innovative new programs, strengthening Medicare, expanding telehealth and more.

Key support for primary care

Budget commitments

The Australian Government announced a $2.9 billion package in its 2022–23 Budget for a revamp of Australia’s primary care system. This includes:

  • $220m to deliver the Strengthening Medicare GP Grants Program to provide general practice with more resources to invest in their practice
  • $235m to establish 50 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics in existing GP clinics or community health centres across Australia

In addition, the Australian Government will provide $750 million over 3 years from 2023–24 to deliver the highest priority investments in strengthening Medicare.

Strengthening Medicare Taskforce

The Strengthening Medicare Taskforce delivered its report in February 2023. This report outlines a vision for Australia’s primary care system of the future. 

The report recommends significant changes to how primary care is funded and delivered to enable high quality, integrated and person-centred care for all Australians. 

Learn more about the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce Report.

Telehealth expansion

Telehealth allows you to have an appointment with a healthcare provider by phone or a video call.

Telehealth was expanded in March 2020 to ensure the safety of patients and healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of these services have now been retained permanently to improve people’s access to primary care.

Better prevention and management of chronic conditions

Primary care services are available to help people with chronic conditions and their physical and mental health and wellbeing. This includes for:

You can use the AUSDRISK tool to estimate your risk of getting type 2 diabetes in the next 5 years.

Medicare provides subsidies for primary care, chronic disease management, and patients who need care from a multidisciplinary team.

Learn more about primary care services provided by healthdirect.

Support for mental health

The Better Access initiative provides Medicare rebates to help people access mental health professionals and care, regardless of where they live.

Learn more about mental health.

Other support for primary care

Rural and remote GP access

We fund a program to support people to access GPs in rural and remote hospitals and health services.

Our other health plans

We have other plans, which work with the Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan, to support better health outcomes. These include:

Improving the health of Australians with intellectual disability

We are also delivering the National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability.

The roadmap aims to address serious health inequities faced by people with intellectual disability. It was developed after consultation with people with intellectual disability and other stakeholders, researchers and experts.

Funding early intervention programs

We previously funded the Helping Children with Autism Program and the Better Start for Children with Disability Initiative. Funding is still available for early intervention in these areas through the NDIS.

Allied health care

Allied health care is a type of primary care. It’s provided by a broad range of health professionals who can treat conditions and illnesses. Allied health services are funded in different ways. Some are subsidised by the Australian Government.

Learn more about allied health care.

Dental health

We provide funding for some dental health services. This includes the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) and support to state and territory governments to deliver more public dental services for adults.

Learn more about dental health.

Primary Health Networks

Primary Health Networks (PHNs) are independent organisations we fund to coordinate primary care in their region. PHNs assess community needs and commission health services for their region.

Date last updated:

Help us improve health.gov.au

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.