General practice nursing
General practices are an integral component of our health system, as they provide front-line management of health needs in the community. Although general practice receives significant public subsidy, it remains a private professional industry. This has important implications for the services that are provided and the accessibility of services to the community. Individual general practices in geographical areas have formed divisions of general practice to provide support (such as continuing education, professional support groups, divisional health programs), establish links with other healthcare agencies (for example, acute hospitals, community care providers) and act as a representative body for general practice (Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care 2005). In 2005, 122 divisions existed across Australia.