Primary care is the first point of contact in a continuing healthcare process. To enhance primary care especially the provision of continuing, preventive, comprehensive and holistic healthcare services, the Government announced several initiatives including the establishment of a primary care register based on family doctor concept in the 2008-2009 Policy Address.

Based on the recommendations by the Working Group on Primary Care and its Task Force on Primary Care Directory (the Task Force), the Government announced the establishment of Primary Care Directory (the Directory), as well as other strategies and actions for improving the delivery of primary care services, as set out in the " Primary Care Development in Hong Kong: Strategy Document" released in 2010.

The objective of the Directory is to provide the public and healthcare service providers an easily accessible electronic database containing practice information and professional qualification of primary care providers of various disciplines in the community.

The Directory was first launched in April 2011 with sub-directories for doctors and dentists; followed by the sub-directory for Chinese medicine practitioners which was launched in October 2012.

In 2016, the Advisory Committee on Primary Care Directory was established to provide advice on the continual development and maintenance of the Directory.

The Primary Healthcare Office (PHO) was established under the Food and Health Bureau on 1 March 2019 to oversee and steer the development of primary healthcare services at the bureau level.

The former Primary Care Office was integrated with the PHO on 1 October 2019 and the Directory is overseen by the PHO.