Primary care is often the first point of contact people have with the health system. Many also provide services funded by the Commonwealth and other sources.
Victoria's network of community health services deliver a range of primary health, human services and community-based support to meet local community needs. There are currently 88 services that fall into two organisational types:
- 32 independently managed registered community health centres
- 56 community health services that are part of rural or metropolitan health services, including small rural health services.
Community health services provide universal access to services as well as targeted services for vulnerable population groups. They sit alongside general practice and privately funded services to make up the primary health sector in Victoria. Some are also major providers of a range of health and human services including drug and alcohol, disability, dental, post-acute care, home and community care, mental health services and community rehabilitation.
Community health services receive funding from a range of programs across the Department of Health & Human Services, including funding for the Community Health Program a state funded program that provides health promotion, general counselling, allied health and community nursing services that aim to maximise people's health and wellbeing.