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Australia is facing some significant system challenges that primarily relate to a shift in the burden of disease from infectious diseases, requiring episodic or one-off care, to chronic illness that requires more on-going care with input from multiple health care providers. Stronger, more effective, better integrated and coordinated primary care services are the best way to improve outcomes for patients and ensure a sustainable health system into the future.
The Government is continuing to consider approaches to strengthen primary care and its connection with secondary care. Primary health care is a pivotal part of the national long-term health plan. Recent reforms such as the implementation of Primary Health Networks, the MBS review, workforce reforms and the trial of Health Care Homes demonstrate the Government’s commitment to the plan. The next wave of reform will see a continued strengthening of primary health care.