Overview: A Draft of Australia’s First National Primary Health Care Strategy

This Draft National Primary Health Care Strategy (the Draft Strategy) provides a road map to guide future policy and practice in primary health care in Australia. It is Australia’s first National Primary Health Care Strategy.

Development of the Draft Strategy, by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, has been assisted by an External Reference Group of primary health care experts chaired by Dr Tony Hobbs and informed by discussion with state and territory health departments. More than 260 submissions were received in response to the Discussion Paper: Towards a National Primary Health Care Strategy, (released for stakeholder consultation in October 2008) have also been used to inform the preparation of the Draft Strategy.

The release of the Draft Strategy is intended to place primary health care as a central theme in the national conversation on health reform that the Government has begun with the Australian people, following the release of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission’s Report: A Healthier Future for All Australias.

The Draft Strategy reinforces the messages from the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission in recognising that a strong and efficient primary health care system is critical to the future success and sustainability of our health care system.

The Draft Strategy identifies 5 key building blocks which are considered essential system-wide underpinnings for a responsive and integrated primary health care system for the 21st century:

  1. Regional integration
  2. Information and technology, including eHealth
  3. Skilled workforce
  4. Infrastructure
  5. Financing and system performance

Drawing from these are 4 priority directions for change:

These priority directions have been identified through consultations, as the priority areas where change is most needed to set up the system of the future.

The Draft Strategy is accompanied by a Report: Primary Health Care Reform in Australia – Report to Support Australia’s First National Primary Health Care Strategy (the Report). The Report provides detailed information about the issues that emerged during the consultation process and sets out the broader context in which primary health care in Australia operates and has developed

What do you think?

The Government is undertaking a series of face-to-face consultations and is using this website to seek the views of Australians on the proposed health reform options.

What do you think? Tell us at a consultation visit or complete the Tell us what you think form to provide your views.

These views will be compiled and reported to Government prior to deciding what health reform should be undertaken.

Individual responses will not be posted to the views provided on this site.

Further information

You can find more information from the following fact sheet which has been prepared to provide further information on each of the Key Priority Areas contained in the Draft Strategy:


In addition, copies of the Discussion Paper: Towards a National Primary Health Care Strategy and stakeholder submissions on the Discussion Paper, in addition to details on the External Reference Group (ERG) can be found here

Read the documents

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Page last updated 31 August, 2009