Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Primary Health Care
OfferedClayton First semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Professor Shane Thomas


This unit reviews key concepts in primary health care in Australia and other countries using a comparative case based teaching method. Case examples of primary health care initiatives and systems are drawn from a wide range of countries including Australia, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States, the United States and United Kingdom. Key documents including the Commonwealth's "Towards a National Primary Health Care Strategy: A Discussion Paper from the Australian Government and the WHO's "Primary Health Care: Now More Than Ever" statements will be reviewed and discussed. 9 hours of this course will be co-taught with Masters of Family Medicine candidates. The following topics will also be considered. The history and philosophy of primary care practice, the conceptual framework of primary care practice, the roles and tasks of the primary care practitioner, primary care practice in the community and community health, future directions of primary care practice and the academic in primary care practice. The course is designed for primary health care professionals and other professionals involved in the management, design and delivery of primary health care services.


On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. To critically analyse the contemporary key international trends and policies and practices in Primary Health Care systems and practice;
  2. To critically analyse these policies and practices through exposure to a wide range of Australian and international case studies in primary health care;
  3. To critically analyse the roles of key professions in different Primary Health Care systems through benchmarking of the systems;
  4. To critically analyse the contribution of Primary Health Care to health service delivery in different health systems.


Review of literature (20%)
Case study (20%)
Essay (critical analysis)(60%)

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

12 hours per week including contact time and private study over the second semester - a total of 156 hours.