Primary Care

The development of the Primary Care Division is a key element of the overall Health Reform programme. The core objective of the division is to achieve a more balanced health service by ensuring that the majority of patients and clients who require urgent or planned care are managed within primary and community based settings.  This will be achieved by bringing together the various stakeholders to ensure that services that can safely and effectively be delivered in a community setting are transferred from acute settings.  This will achieve a more accessible and cost effective health services for the benefit of all service users.

Primary Care & Social Inclusion Services:

The Primary Care Strategy defined primary care as being ‘an approach to care that includes a range of services designed to keep people well, from promotion of health and screening for disease to assessment, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation as well as personal social services. The services provide first-level contact that is fully accessible by self-referral and have a strong emphasis on working with communities and individuals to improve their health and social wellbeing’.

Primary care will play a central role in co-ordinating and delivering a wide range of integrated services in collaboration with other divisions.  The primary care team (PCT) is the central point for service delivery which actively engages to address the medical and social care needs of its defined population in conjunction with a wider range of Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) services.

The Primary Care Schemes are the infrastructure through which the health system delivers a significant proportion of primary care to the general public. Scheme services are delivered nationally by Primary Care Contractors – General Practitioners, Pharmacists, Dentists and Optometrists / Ophthalmologists. Services are provided to 3.4m people in the community through 7,007 Primary Care Contractors.

Social Inclusion plays a key role in supporting equity of access to services and provides targeted interventions to improve the health outcomes of minority groups which encompass Irish Travellers, Roma, and other members of diverse ethnic and cultural groups, such as asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service users.  Members of these groups characteristically present with a complex range of health and support needs which require multi-agency and multi-faceted interventions. The Health Service promotes and leads on integrated approaches on different levels across statutory and voluntary sectors. A critical success factor is the continued development of integrated care planning and case management approaches between all relevant agencies and service providers.

National Director, Primary Care, John Hennessy
Tel 01 635 2232 061 483302 primarycare@hse.ie

Primary Care encompases

Primary Care Reimbursement Service
The Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) is responsible for making payments to healthcare professionals, like doctors, dentists and pharmacists, for the free or reduced costs services they provide to the public.

National Hepatitis C Treatment Programme
In recent years successful treatments for hepatitis C have become more widely available. These new treatments using drugs known as Directly Acting Antivirals (DAAs) offer a cure for Hepatitis C in most cases. In order to ensure that every person is Ireland infected with Hepatitis C is offered treatment using these new agents the HSE has established a National Hepatitis C Treatment Programme.

Corporate Pharmaceutical Unit 

Primary Care

Civil Registration
The HSE's Civil Registration Service plays an important role in the lives of Irish people, responsible for helping people to register their children's births, along with marriages, civil partnerships and deaths

National Contracts Office