Primary health care is the mode of health care provided in the community for people making an initial approach to a medical practitioner or clinic for advice or treatment.
Primary health care can cover the majority of a person’s health needs throughout their life including prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care.
Primary health care is a whole of society approach to health and well-being centered on the needs and preferences of individuals, families and communities. It addresses the broader determinants of health and focuses on the comprehensive and interrelated aspects of physical, mental and social health and wellbeing. It is the first point of contact with health services and provides a point of entry for the entire health system. Research has shown that access to primary health services is linked to better health outcomes, including improvements in self-rated health and a reduction in all-cause mortality.
Some of the major contributions of the primary health care to the health care system of Ghana are as follows:
Increased Access to Health Services
Primary health care helps to increase access to health services, which is particularly important for isolated or deprived population groups that may not have the means to access these services otherwise.
As the main port of entry into the healthcare system, primary care providers are available to help individuals to understand and discuss their health and any particular problems that they may be experiencing. In case of need, a referral can be made for more specialized care.
Inproved Quality of Care
There has been significant research comparing the quality of specialty and general practices. Studies carried out by specialists have found that specialists tend to adhere more closely to disease-specific guidelines for health issues, correlating to improved preventive procedures and prescription decisions. However, other studies have failed to support this evidence and some areas of practice, such as for diabetes, have found the care by a general practitioner is equal to or better than that of a hospital-based specialist. This research has led to the suggestion that primary care may often be superior in overall quality, due to the all-encompassing approach to health.
Focus On Prevention
Primary care places a strong emphasis on preventive interventions. These are particularly generic changes that have an impact on many aspects of health, such as breastfeeding, stopping smoking, staying physically active and eating a healthy diet.
Primary care practitioners are also in a position to recommend screening measures to detect early changes that could be indicative of specific diseases. This may include checking blood pressure, blood tests, breast examinations, mammograms, pap smears and bowel cancer screening. Some research has found that patients admitted to hospitals with complications related to a manageable health condition, such as hypertension, were four times more likely to lack access to a primary health care provider. For instance, In the united kingdom, increases in the supply of general practitioners have been positively correlated with reduced rates of hospital admissions, when normalized for location, ethnicity and socioeconomic class.
Primary Healthcare Provides a Constant And Regular Consultant
When you are suffering from a new health issue, It is important to speak with a professional early on, so you can determine the best course of treatment and get access to necessary medicine. Establishing a relationship with a primary care physician not only means you will know who to talk to when you need a doctor, it also provides you with ongoing care and expert consultation services from someone who understands your unique medical history. With a primary care provider, you will get the attention you deserve.
Considering the above contributions of the primary health care to the healthcare system of Ghana, primary healthcare therefore offers valuable contributions to the healthcare system of Ghana.
WRITTEN BY: JOSEPH MENANO JUNIOR
UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST
PROGRAM: PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT STUDIES
LECTURER: KINGSLY KOJO ASARE PEREKO
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