Translating universal health care into reality requires strengthening primary health care and primary care. These terms may sound similar, but each has its unique definition and purpose. Primary care is when a trained provider diagnoses or treats you. Primary health care encompasses much more, including disease prevention and health promotion.
Let us examine the link between the two, how they differ, and how they can help improve your well-being.
What Is Primary Care?
Primary care is the first point of contact with the healthcare system. It ensures patients receive quality comprehensive care through the following:
- Assessing signs and symptoms
- Requesting appropriate laboratory and imaging tests
- Diagnosing and recommending treatment
- Conducting rehabilitation and follow-up
- Screening and other preventive medicine practices
- Maintaining a relationship between provider and patient
This element is a key process in our health system. It aims to deliver promotive, protective, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative services. It also empowers patients by giving them access to the information and resources they need to manage their health.
Primary care also advocates for patients to receive cost-effective and equitable care through the coordination of healthcare services.
As a fundamental primary healthcare aspect, it ensures people have access to comprehensive, integrated, and quality services.
What Is Primary Health Care?
Primary health care is a broader concept that addresses the health needs of individuals, families, and communities as a whole.
It is the key to realizing Universal Health Coverage, a crucial goal set by the United Nations for 2030. Universal Health Coverage ensures that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, has access to essential services without financial strain or burden.
Primary care doctors, such as internal medicine specialists, are the backbone of primary health care.They manage individuals and communities rather than just treating specific diseases. Primary care physicians play a crucial role in improving health outcomes for all through the provision of essential services like:
- Preventive care
- Diagnosis and treatment for acute and chronic conditions
- Palliative care
- Mental health services
- Reproductive and sexual health services
- Home-based care
- Community-based services and access to essential medicines
To ensure equal access to excellent primary health care, essential services must be affordable, accessible, and high quality.
Difference Between Primary Care And Primary Health Care
Because of the terminology, these two different concepts are often confused. Primary care is the first level of a patient’s interactions with the healthcare system.
Primary health care is a broader approach that encompasses health promotion, disease prevention, and providing healthcare to underserved populations. It deals with other health aspects such as:
- Public health education
- Community-based interventions
- Access to healthcare services
- Collaboration between multiple healthcare stakeholders
The Role Of Primary Care In Primary Health Care
While primary care is an important part of primary health care, it is not the only component. Still, it plays a critical role by being the entry point of contact for individuals with health problems.
Primary care physicians provide comprehensive, first-contact care to individuals and families. They are the first line of defense against health problems. They are the key to unlocking quality health services and promoting overall health outcomes for the population.
Thus, there is no primary health care without primary care doctors.
Why Access To Primary Care Matters
Access to quality primary care is essential for improving population health outcomes. Having a primary care provider is associated with:
- Improved management of chronic diseases
- Lower hospitalization rates
- Fewer deaths from various diseases
- Fewer emergency visits
- Improved access to health services
- Reduced healthcare costs
- Increased quality of patient-centered care
- Better health
Primary Care Near You In Tucson, AZ
When you choose the right primary care physician, you can be sure you’re getting the highest level of care. Primary care is a vital component of primary health care, providing essential services and models to promote health and well-being.
Dr. Robert Lending, the best board-certified concierge doctor near you, provides comprehensive primary care services to those in Tucson, Arizona. He offers routine checkups, vaccines, and non-emergency medical care, among others. Having a regular primary care doctor can help you stay healthier and reduce costs. So, choose one who takes pleasure in giving patients personalized, expert advice.