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What is a Primary Healthcare Service?

Primary healthcare is a part of the health service that operates from the community and is usually a person's first point of call.

These places have many different names around the country; the common ones are Medical Centre, Family Doctor, Family Health Centre or GP Surgery. The official term is Primary Care Practice.  This term recognises that other health professionals like practice nurses, psychologists and midwives are often based there, not just doctors.  Primary healthcare is where most consultations and referrals start and where most treatment takes place.  Even when patients get referred to specialists in secondary care (often at a hospital) his or her GP (doctor) is kept informed of progress and sent a report when they are sent home.