Primary health care is the provision of basic health care, based on scientifically sound methods and socially acceptable practices. Its goal is to make universal health care available to everyone. This is a crucial component of health care reform. Its goals include: cost effectiveness, accessibility, social justice, and accessibility. These are important considerations in the development of any health care system.
The concept of social justice refers to the belief that all people deserve to enjoy equal rights, including the right to good health. This principle calls for the elimination of health inequities that are unnecessary, avoidable and unjust. These inequalities are the result of unequal distribution of resources that are based on race, class, gender and place. In health care, social justice means addressing these inequalities to ensure that people receive high quality care regardless of their background.
The term “health disparities” was coined by the social justice movement and refers to health differences among different groups in society. While there is no definitive causal link, such differences affect groups that are socially disadvantaged.
Inclusiveness in primary health care is about creating a welcoming environment, providing materials and services that are accessible to patients, and including members of diverse populations. These initiatives may include large print, a variety of languages, and materials tailored to a patient’s gender, sexual orientation, or cultural background.
To achieve this, health care organizations must begin with the leadership team. Leaders’ stereotypical traits and narrow visions are often limiting barriers to inclusion.
The cost-effectiveness of primary health care interventions is often determined by comparing the cost of the interventions to the health benefits achieved. When scarce resources are applied to more cost-effective interventions, health improvements will result. For example, spending $1 million on expanding the vaccination schedule may avert 800 to 66,000 measles deaths, depending on the prevalence of the disease.
Cost-effectiveness can also be measured in terms of the costs per encounter for various types of health care services. A cost-per-appointment analysis of nine primary health care projects in Texas that serve low-income people in rural and urban areas was performed. While these primary health care projects varied in their scope and sponsoring organizations, all of them shared the common goal of providing basic health care services to the poor. The researchers measured costs for services that include diagnosis/treatment, emergency care, family planning, and preventive health screening.
The concept of accessibility is important for the provision of primary health care. It aims to improve access to health services for people of all ages and with different needs. It is a practice that relies on scientifically sound and practical methods. These methods are also socially acceptable. In addition, they make primary health care universal and accessible to everyone. People with disabilities are an integral part of the community and should have equal access to health services.
There are many barriers to accessibility in primary health care facilities. They can range from wheelchairs and railings to restrooms and signage. By identifying and reducing these barriers, PHCs can better provide health services to people with disabilities. It is important to prioritize these efforts as they may face competing demands and limited resources.
Compared to previous health care frameworks, the People-centered approach to primary health care allows a broader perspective. It draws upon the expertise of health care professionals, communities, and public health graduate students. It also captures the tacit knowledge of diverse stakeholders. It aims to improve health outcomes, including quality of life for populations.
A key element of this approach is its recognition of patients and their families as essential partners in quality health care. By recognizing the dignity of patients and families, health care providers can achieve improved patient health outcomes and clinician satisfaction, while also promoting wise use of resources. Moreover, this approach to primary health care recognizes the importance of a person’s personal knowledge and perspective.