Primary health services are delivered in settings such as general practices, community health centres and allied health practices, and through communication technology such as telehealth and video consultations. General practitioners (GPs), nurses, nurse practitioners, allied health professionals, midwives, pharmacists, dentists, and Aboriginal health practitioners are all considered primary health care professionals.

The health care system in Australia faces a number of ongoing challenges, including the provision of effective and coordinated care, an ageing population, rising prevalence of some health risk factors such as obesity and physical inactivity, and increased incidence of chronic conditions and multiple chronic conditions (comorbidities).

Primary Health Networks

On 1 July 2015, the Australian Government established Primary Health Networks (PHNs) as part of its reform of the primary health care system. Priorities of the reform program include complex and chronic disease management; better recognition and treatment of mental health conditions; and greater connection between primary health care and hospital [1].

For more information, including analysis of health data by PHN, see Primary Health Network (PHN) data.


  1. Department of Health 2015. PHN Background. Canberra: Department of Health. Viewed 20 April 2017.