Department of Health and Human Services

Primary & Community Health

Primary health care refers to a broad range of health services most often delivered in community-based settings. Primary health care services seek to intervene early to maximise health and wellbeing outcomes and prevent or slow the progression of ill health.

Services are considered primary because of their:

An effective primary health care system is essential in improving the health of a population and reducing inequalities. According to international evidence, a strong primary health care system is associated with lower death rates, as well as fewer premature deaths from a range of conditions.

Victoria has a distinctive primary health care system that is comprised of services funded by state government, commonwealth government, private services, volunteer-led and community-based organisations. Community Health Services (CHSs) play an important role in the primary health system and aim to improve the health and wellbeing of Victorians, particularly people with, or at risk of, poorer health.

CHSs provide a strong a platform for the delivery of a range of primary health and human services including: