So what exactly is a primary care team?

Jane Last

PRIMARY care facilities provide all the health or social care services you can find in your community outside of a hospital setting.

A typical primary care facility includes GPs, a practice nurse, public health nurses and a range of services such as an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist and home help/support staff.

The primary care team members also link with other community-based disciplines.

These include speech and language therapy, dieticians, and dental and opthalmic services.

The HSE plans to have 485 primary care teams in operation by the end of the year, each serving a population of 8,000 to 12,000, with the aim of relieving pressure on hospitals.

A range of services at primary care clinics, including vaccinations for young and old, are free, but patients who initially see a GP for a consultation will be charged the usual rate of €40-€65, unless they have a medical card.