Contribution of primary care to health systems and health: Is it essential?
Evidence of the health promoting power of primary care has increased ever since investigators have been able to differentiate primary care from other characteristics of the health services delivery system. Studies constantly show that primary care has a positive effect on health results. It reduces mortality and morbidity, and it is considerably more lucrative than specialty based care. Therefore primary care is essential. Some of the beneficial impacts of primary care on health are:
- It increases contact to needed services,
- There is better quality of care,
- There is a greater focus on prevention,
- There is early managing of health problems,
- The cumulative effect of the main primary care delivery characteristics, and
- It reduces needless and sometimes potentially harmful specialist care.
Primary care raises access to health services for somewhat deprived population groups.
It is the first point contact with health services, it make possible entry to the rest of the health care system for those people who need it. Other developed nations have attained universal and fair access to primary health services, some of them directly provided and others through assurance of financial coverage for visits (van Doorslaer, Koolman, and Jones 2004). In the United States, socially disadvantaged populations are more likely than advantaged population to lack a regular source of healthcare. The beneficial impact of health insurance in the United States is largely to ease access to primary care (Starfield and Shi 2004; Lillie Blanton and Hoffman 2005). In the deficiency of health insurance, socially disadvantaged population groups are less likely to have a source of primary care and so suffer compromised access to the entire health system. Over the years, attempts to improve access have been increased by expanding eligibility for reimbursement by public funds through Medicaid, and similar programs. Primary care physicians do as well as specialists in caring for common diseases and do better overall when the measures of quality are general. For less common conditions, care provided by primary care physicians with proper backup from specialists may be optimum; While sub-specialist care is certainly important to achieving a healthy public, such fragmented care cannot take the place of a primary care physician who can diagnose and treat the majority of patients in their office." (Editors and Staff, 2009). Primary care professionals are in the best place to notice the incidence of possible adverse effects of medical interventions, mainly those from drug reactions and interactions. This additionally makes primary care very essential. In systems of care that are leaning to primary care, the primary care practitioner is, the most commonly seen physician, for patients with all degrees of common conditions Only when conditions are uncommon are specialists the most...