Defining Primary and Secondary Healthcare

Primary Health Care

Primary health care, as it's name suggests, is often a patients first point of contact with the health system. It typically includes health promotion and disease prevention activities and programs, and extends to early intervention, treatment of acute conditions and the management of chronic health conditions. 

Primary care is provided by a diverse range of health professionals, including:

  • General Practitioners

  • Nurses

  • Allied health professionals

  • Midwives

  • Pharmacists

  • Dentists

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers

Due to the broad nature of primary care, it's delivered in a variety of health oriented locations. These include

  • General medical practices

  • Community health centres

  • Allied health services

  • Communication technology e.g. video consultations

Primary care practitioners often refer patients between one another, more so since the introduction of the Australian Governments Primary Care Networks (AIHW, 2016).

Primary Care Networks are targeted towards increasing the efficacy, effectiveness and accessibility:

  • Mental health 

  • Aborignal and Torres Starit Islander health

  • Population health

  • The health workforce

  • eHealth

  • Aged care

Secondary Health Care

Secondary health care is provided by medical specialists or specialist facilities upon referral from a primary care practitioner (AIHW, 2016). A lot of the time this will occur to ease the burden place on the public health system. Whilst you may pay to see a specialist in their private consulting rooms, most of the time lengthy waiting lists will be avoided.

Page References

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2016). Australia's Health 2016. Retrieved 4th January 2019, from:

Stephanie Says acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which we live - the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation. We acknowledge their Elders past, present and emerging. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land. 

Note: Stephanie Sayss is not run by medical professionals. This platform is an educational tool only, and not intended to be used for medical advice. Always seek the assistance of a doctor - this platform is intended to be used a tool to assist you in doing so.

All references are cited on the page they are relevant to. 

©2019 by Stephanie Sayss.