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frankzappa

What is Primary Care?

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Primary care is the initial point of contact between a patient and the healthcare system that provides individuals with access to the information and resources they need for optimal health outcomes.

Primary healthcare professionals typically work with many different patients and have broad knowledge about various physical, psychological and social ailments that may affect their patients.

Aim of Primary Care

The main purpose of primary care is to improve the health of the public by providing easy access to medical care. It also focuses on the whole individual rather than on the illness of a specific organ, system or disease. It aims to improve their entire health and wellbeing by preventing or solving any health problems that may be present or potentially present.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are several key roles that primary care practitioners fulfil in their pursuit of this goal. These include:

  • Providing a wider coverage of health care
  • Preventing social disparities in health care
  • Organizing health services to meet health needs
  • Helping to make health and health care a part of public policy in every sphere
  • Helping to train leaders in effective health care
  • Increasing the level of participation by all those who have a stake in health, whether patients, physicians, public health workers, or those in the allied health services

Primary care practitioners are responsible for the ongoing health of their patients by preventing, diagnosing early and managing common health conditions. An important aspect of their work is making referrals to specialists as and when needed.

They are also in a unique position to understand and study the natural course of disease, the family setting in which the patient is placed, and to treat and follow up chronic or recurrent health conditions.

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