What are primary health care principles?
To understand primary health-care principles, it is important to remember the "health" definition of WHO, that states - "health is a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, and not merely the absence of diseases or of infirmity."
PHC is one of the most important blocks of health-care services. According to WHO and UNICEF, "PHC is a whole-of-society approach to health that aims at ensuring the highest possible level of health and well-being and their equitable distribution by focusing on people’s needs and as early as possible along the continuum from health promotion and disease prevention to treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care, and as close as feasible to people’s everyday environment."
Following are looked at the key principles for PHC to make it effective and sustainable:
- PHC must be accessible
- It must promote community participation
- Should facilitate and strengthen inter-sectoral coordination and cooperation
- Must focus on health promotion
- Should use appropriate technology within services
In addition, a general overarching principle is that PHC should maintain a good quality of services at affordable prices.
Primary health care principles centre on accessibility, health promotion at individual and community level, and patient management that is personalised and encompasses illness prevention, reablement and palliative care, as well as cure. The focus of all activity is on maximising quality of life.