What is Primary Health Care (PHC)?
Primary health care (PHC) is essential health care made universally accessible to individuals and acceptable to them, through full participation and at a cost the community and country can afford. It is an approach to health beyond the traditional health care system that focuses on health equity-producing social policy. Primary health-care (PHC) has basic essential elements and objectives that help to attain better health services for all.
Essential Elements of Primary Health Care (PHC):
There are 8 elements of primary health care (PHC). That listed below-
- E-Education concerning prevailing health problems and the methods of identifying, preventing, and controlling them.
- L– Locally endemic disease prevention and control.
- E– An expanded program of immunization against major infectious diseases.
- M– Maternal and child health care including family planning.
- E– Essential drugs arrangement.
- N– Nutritional food supplement, an adequate supply of safe and basic nutrition.
- T– Treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases and the promotion of mental health.
- S– Safe water and sanitation.
Extended Elements in the 21st Century:
- Expended options of immunizations.
- Reproductive health needs.
- Provision of essential technologies for health.
- Health promotion.
- Prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.
- Food safety and the provision of selected food supplements.
Principles of Primary Health Care (PHC):
Behind these elements lies a series of basic objectives that should be formulated in national policies to launch and sustain primary healthcare (PHC) as part of a comprehensive health system and coordination with other sectors.
- Improvement in the level of health care of the community.
- Favorable population growth structure.
- Reduction in the prevalence of preventable, communicable, and other diseases.
- Reduction in morbidity and mortality rates especially among infants and children.
- Extension of essential health services with priority given to the underserved sectors.
- Improvement in basic sanitation.
- Development of the capability of the community aimed at self-reliance.
- Maximizing the contribution of the other sectors for the social and economic development of the community.
- Equitable distribution of health care– according to this principle, primary care and other services to meet the main health problems in a community must be provided equally to all individuals irrespective of their gender, age, and caste, urban/rural, and social class.
- Community participation-comprehensive healthcare relies on adequate numbers and distribution of trained physicians, nurses, allied health professions, community health workers, and others working as a health team and supported at the local and referral levels.
- Multi-sectional approach-recognition that 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.
- Use of appropriate technology- medical technology should be provided that accessible, affordable, feasible, and culturally acceptable to the community.
More questions related to this topic:
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- Discuss 8 essential elements of primary healthcare.
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- Health education in primary healthcare a perspective.
- Pillars of primary healthcare.
- Primary healthcare concepts and principles.
- Principles and elements of primary healthcare.
Maria Khatun Mona is a Founder and Editor of Nursing Exercise Blog. She is a Nursing and Midwifery Expert. Currently she is working as a Registered Nurse at Evercare Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has great passion in writing different articles on Nursing and Midwifery. Mail her at “[email protected]”