What is Primary Health Care?
A strong primary health care system is to key of improving the health of all community peoples and reducing health inequalities between different groups. Primary healthcare (PHC) is a fundamental and basic health care that is based on practical, scientifically sound and universally acceptable methods and technology, which available and accessible to all individuals and families in a community as first level of care. Primary health care (PHC) services to decrease delay and increase access to the health care system, offering better health outcomes.
4 Pillars of Primary Health Care:
A Primary Care health (PHC) team is a multidisciplinary group of health and social care professionals who work together to deliver local accessible health and social care services to a defined population in a community. The Primary Health Care framework is built on four key pillars. Those pillars are fostering and strengthening the delivery of health and wellness care.
The four major pillars of primary health care have mentioned in the below:
- Community Participation,
- Inter-sectoral Coordination,
- Appropriate Technology,
- Support Mechanism Made Available.
All the above four pillars have described in the following:
1. Community Participation
Community participation is a social and proven approach to addressing health care needs of the community people. It means the involvements of the community people concerned in analysis, decision-making, planning, and program implementation, as well as in all the activities and share their needs living in a specific geographic area and establish mechanisms to meet these needs. The responsibility of health rests not only with government but also with individuals, families and communities themselves. Universal coverage by primary health care cannot be achieved without the involvement of the local community. Maximum reliance should be on local resources for the above.
- Money and
2. Inter-Sectoral Coordination:
Inter-sectoral coordination refers to the collective actions involving more than one specialized agency, performing different roles for a common purpose. Health cannot be improved by intervention within just the formal health sector; other sectors are equally important in promoting the health and self-reliance of communities. Its involve agriculture, animal husbandry, food, industry, education, housing, public works, communication and other sectors.
Therefore these departments need to be involved in attaining health for all.
This cooperation requires:
- Strong political will,
- Adapting the administrative system to enable such coordination,
- Making suitable legislation to ensure this,
- Development planning should be together, involving all the sectors to avoid duplication of activities.
3. Appropriate Technology:
Appropriate healthcare technologies are an important strategy for improving the availability and accessibility of healthcare services.
It has been defined as ‘’technology that is scientifically sound, adaptable to local needs and acceptable to those who apply it and to whom it is applied and that can be maintained by people themselves in keeping with the principle of self-reliance with the resources the community and country can afford.’’ It means using cheaper, scientifically valid and acceptable equipment and techniques if these are available instead of costly and more sophisticated ones if the community cannot afford those.
This means methods, procedures, techniques and equipment that are:
- Scientifically valid,
- Adapted to local needs,
- Acceptable to users and recipients,
- Maintainable with local resources.
4. Support Mechanism Made Available:
The main target of primary health care is available and accessible at least to essential health care and to first level referral facilities all over the universe. Support Mechanism is vital to health and quality of life. Support mechanism in primary health care is a natural or established process by which something brought about to enhances quality of life and provides a buffer against adverse life events.
In support system people get personal, physical, mental, spiritual and instrumental (and sometimes informational) support that is very important to meet primary health care goal. Primary health care depend on adequate number and distribution of trained physicians, nurses, community health workers, allied health professions and others working as a health team and supported at the local and referral levels.