Primary care is often the first contact a person has with the health system and can be delivered in a range of settings, by a range of providers.
It may be provided by general practitioners (GPs) within general practice or in an aged care or community setting, by public or private service providers. Nursing care, midwifery, pharmacy, dentistry, Aboriginal health services, and allied health care are also examples of primary care services.
Primary health care is often the first point of contact individuals have with the health system and encompasses a broad range of professions and services. Some of these include:
A general practitioner (GP) is likely the first point of contact for personal health and is important in the coordination of care of patients and referral to other health care services. A GP cares for patients in a whole of person approach, in the context of their work, family and community.
- Primary health care nurses
Primary health care nurses play a key role in keeping people healthy by providing proactive care and health promotion. They work in a range of settings, including community health, general practice, aged care and schools.
- Allied health
The allied health sector represents a broad range of health professionals who are not doctors, dentists, nurses or midwives, and includes psychologists, optometrists and physiotherapists. Allied health professionals use evidence-based practices to prevent, diagnose and treat a range of conditions and illnesses.
Although primary health care is an important component of Australia’s health care system, the availability of primary health care data remains limited.
The AIHW is leading data and reporting improvement in the primary health care sector through various initiatives – see Data development section for more information.
Contact information: AIHW Primary Health Care Data Development Unit
Email: [email protected]
Around 9 in 10 Australians saw a GP in 2021–22
The percentage of people who received a Medicare-subsidised GP service ranged from 77% to 98% across PHNs
As of July 2022, over 5,600 general practices around Australia contributed to the aggregate PIPQI data on 10 measures
Regular clients who had type 2 diabetes and a HbA1c result recorded in the previous 12 months decreased 2.3% from 2021
For the first time over 5,700 general practices around Australia contributed to this new data collection on 10 measures
49% of 45-74 years old regular clients with no CVD had 4 risk factors recorded in GP record to allow CVD risk assessment