Primary care is a broad term used to describe the first point of consultation or access for patients to health services. The aims of primary care are to provide the patient with a broad spectrum of care, both preventive and curative, over a period of time and to coordinate all of the care the patient receives. Primary care is the basis of the Australian health care system and approximately 80% of the population seek primary health care each year.
In Australia, General Practice doctors have traditionally been the cornerstone of primary health care. However partnerships between GPs and other primary health care providers have increasingly become a feature of the landscape. Recognition continues to grow across the sector that partnerships and a multidisciplinary approach offer the possibility of addressing some of the problems in primary health care. Challenges include the need to provide more preventive care for older Australians and improve coordination of care for people with chronic conditions and complex care needs.
Examples of AHA's projects include: