What is Primary Health Care?
What is Primary Health Care?

What is Primary Health Care?

Primary health care encompasses a comprehensive suite of healthcare services provided by medical professionals within your community, such as your GP, nurses, pharmacists and allied health providers (like dentists). These practitioners may maintain long-term relationships with you to provide advice and treatment on a wide range of health related matters while managing ongoing conditions like diabetes or heart disease.

Primary health care aims to promote health and reduce inequalities in disease and disability distribution within a nation or community, by offering preventive, curative and promotive healthcare that also facilitates community development. To achieve their health care goal, countries should invest in an effective primary health care system, with sufficient doctors, nurses, health workers and other specialists trained and available to serve local communities. Support will include providing them with technical knowledge, training, guidance and supervision as well as logistic support, supplies, information, financing options and referral facilities (institutions that can refer individual patients with unsolved problems to).

Integral community-based primary healthcare delivery should be combined with health promotion and disease prevention services, to meet the needs of a population. Services may differ according to culture and economic circumstances, making primary healthcare systems accessible and affordable – especially important in developing nations where out of pocket costs can be prohibitively expensive; an estimated 930 million people living in low and middle income countries spend 10% or more of their household income on out-of-pocket healthcare expenses annually! Investing in an effective primary health care system could prevent such burdensome spending habits altogether!

In 1948, the World Health Organization initiated an agenda for primary health care. This concept was brought forward at Alma-Ata International Conference on Primary Health Care wherein their Declaration outlined universal access to basic healthcare as a fundamental human right.

An effective relationship with your GP is key to getting the most out of routine primary healthcare services. This is particularly true if you have an ongoing condition such as diabetes or heart disease which requires ongoing treatments and regular check-ups from a healthcare provider; they will detect any changes in your health such as increased blood pressure or an abnormal heart rhythm, so they can take appropriate action and treat accordingly.

Relying on your general practitioner (GP) to maintain a trusted and reliable relationship can also help prevent unnecessary trips to the emergency room. Many diseases and health conditions arise gradually, so regular appointments with your GP can ensure these issues are dealt with early before becoming more costly to treat.

Your primary healthcare is available through various channels, but starting with your GP should always be the starting point. Make an appointment and come prepared by writing down symptoms and medications you are taking ahead of time; be sure to ask about any after-hours services available too.