Skilled, accessible and integrated primary and community health care is essential for preventing and responding to mental health and addiction problems. Little progress has been made in addressing mental health and addiction in primary care.
This will require a transformed primary health care sector but progress towards the vision of the Primary Health Care Strategy (2001) has been slow and inconsistent.
The Government’s Health and Disability Sector Review should focus on primary health care which is a critical foundation for improved mental health and addiction care and support. Mental health and addiction should be explicitly included as a priority in any future primary health care strategies.