Primary care is often the first point of contact people have with the health system.
Victoria's network of community health services deliver a range of primary health, social care and community-based support to meet local community needs. There are currently 79 services that fall into two organisational types:
- 24 independently managed registered community health centres
- 55 community health services that are part of rural or metropolitan health services, including small rural health services.
Community health services target access to those with the greatest risk of poor health outcomes and the greatest economic and social need, who may face barriers to accessing care through other services and settings. They sit alongside general practice and privately funded services to make up the primary health sector in Victoria.
Community health services receive funding from a range of programs across the Department of Health, including funding for the Community Health Program, a state funded program that provides general counselling, allied health and community nursing services that aim to maximise people's health and wellbeing, and offer targeted services for vulnerable population groups.
Some community health services are also major providers of drug and alcohol, disability, dental, post-acute care, home and community care, mental health services and community rehabilitation, as well as other health and social care services.
Many community health services also provide services funded by the Commonwealth and other sources.
Community health reform plan
Victoria’s community health sector is a critical part of Victoria’s healthcare system, providing locally-based, affordable health and social care to disadvantaged Victorians.
Community health services
An overview of information on community health centre delivery guidelines, budget, governance, eligibility and fees.
Community health pride – LGBTIQ+ inclusive practice resources
Suite of resources developed in consultation with community health service providers and key experts in the LGBTIQ field.
Registration, accreditation and governance of community health centres
Victoria's registered community health centres comply with performance standards and report regularly to the department.
Community Health Program in Victoria
The Community Health Program provides over one million hours of allied health, counselling and nursing services to the Victorian community.
Reviewed 12 July 2023