Under National Health Reform, the Australian Government is aiming to shift health services from hospitals to primary care.
Primary care is the part of Australia’s health system that people use most. It is the first – primary – point of health care delivered in, and to people living in their communities – outside of hospitals.
Primary care is the provision of access to comprehensive, community- based health care, including through first point of call services for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ill-health, and ongoing management of chronic disease.
Primary care includes a range of services provided by health professionals such as general practitioners, practice nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists and community health workers. A strong primary health care system is crucial to ensuring that people can get the health care they need, when they need it, where they need it. It helps people better manage their health and plays an important role in preventing disease.
The Australian Government is committed to strengthening the primary health care system, giving people access to the services they need locally. Primary care will help to keep people well and out of hospital.
The Australian Government is improving primary health care by:
- establishing Medicare Locals (independent primary health care organisations)
- building over 60 GP Super Clinics;
- trialling new approaches for the flexible delivery of treatment and management of diabetes through general practice;
- increasing access to after hours services through the availability of the after hours GP helpline and by tasking Medicare Locals with a range of after hours primary care responsibilities; and
- funding approximately 425 primary care infrastructure upgrades to general practices, primary care and community health services, and Aboriginal Medical Services to improve access to integrated GP and primary health care.
In February 2011, the Australian Government released the publication Improving Primary Health Care for All Australians.
National Health Reform Progress and DeliveryView the National Health Reform Progress and Delivery report.
The Tobacco Plain Packaging Information Kit provides practical information on the responsibilities and obligations of retailers and other suppliers of tobacco products under the new Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011.
eHealth.gov.au is your gateway to Australia's personally controlled electronic health record system, linking you to information about eHealth records and the system itself. Visit www.ehealth.gov.au
On 20 April 2012, the Prime Minister and Minister Butler unveiled a comprehensive package of reforms to build a better, fairer, more sustainable and more nationally consistent aged care system.