What are primary health networks?

Primary health networks (PHNs) have been established with the key objectives of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services for individuals, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes. They also aim to improve coordination of care to ensure people receive the right care in the right place at the right time.

PHNs are not for profit, regionally based organisations which aim to strengthen primary care by redirecting frontline health services to improve health outcomes of the community.

What is primary health care?

Primary health care may be viewed as the first point of contact an individual has with the health system. This is often visiting the local GP, but may include a range of health professionals such as nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, dentists, physiotherapists or Aboriginal health workers.

Primary health care services address not only the immediate problem, but also include prevention and screening, chronic disease management and health promotion.

Our vision

Our vision is supporting, strengthening and shaping a world class, person centred primary health care system. We work to achieve this by working directly with all key players including general practitioners, allied health, nurses, secondary care providers, local health districts and specialty health networks, local communities and non-government organisations to ensure improved health outcomes for people living and working in our region.

Our activities

Each year we undertake a comprehensive needs assessment to identify the key health and health service needs of people in our region. This information is used to identify opportunities and to prioritise our activities.

We provide programs and services that strengthen general practice and allied health services, including practice management support and continuing professional development. We also provide a range of programs focused on delivering integrated care with our local health districts and specialty health networks including Aboriginal health, antenatal shared care, aged care, HealthPathwaysimmunisation, mental health and sexual health.

Our region, our community

The Central and Eastern Sydney catchment spans 666.9 square kilometres. Our region stretches from Strathfield to Sutherland, as far east as Bondi, and also includes Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island. We are the second largest of the 31 primary health networks across Australia by population, with almost 1.5 million individuals residing in our region. Our boundaries align with those of South Eastern Sydney Local Health District and Sydney Local Health District.

CESPHN map overlay

Our catchment population is characterised by cultural diversity and high population growth with more than one third (35%) of our community born outside Australia. By 2031 our region’s population will reach more than 1.85 million, an increase of 28.1% or more than 400,000 individuals.


We are proud of our governance structure which incorporates allied health, community and general practice. The member companies are eligible to nominate and elect directors to the EIS Health Limited Board, ensuring that each group has a strong and independent voice in determining what health service provision should look like, both as essential care providers and receivers of care.

The seven member companies are listed below:

Our Clinical Council and Community Council also provide strategic advice to the Board and assist in identifying opportunities to improve access to health services. Both councils also provide advice about population health planning and the commissioning of services.