Primary care is provided in community settings by a number of different health professionals. Primary care often refers to medical care provided by general practitioners, but it can also refer to care provided by nurses, dentists, pharmacists, allied health and mental health providers, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners. Primary care is often the first point of contact people have with the health system.
Victoria’s community health services (CHSs) play an important role in the delivery of state-funded, population-focused and community-based health services. This includes delivery of the Community Health Program, which provides health promotion, general counselling, allied health and community nursing services. Many CHSs also deliver services funded by the Commonwealth and other sources.
Dental services are another important part of primary care. The Department of Health & Human Services funds Dental Health Services Victoria to provide public dental care services to eligible Victorians under the Dental Health Program.