Further still, PHC incorporates the provision of education that enables General Practitioners (GPs) to learn and become acquainted with the prevailing health problems and stipulates the mechanisms of addressing them. Where the service providers receive education that is effective and relevant, then their ability to provide quality healthcare services is enhanced thus strengthening the healthcare system in the country.
Health systems strengthening encompass enhancing access to health services. Enhanced access helps to tackle the issue of inequalities in the Australian context. As per the principles of PHC approach, PHC can increase access to health services as one cornerstone of health ...view middle of the document...
As noted by the World Bank (2004), where there is inadequate and insignificant health systems strengthening in the country, then achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be greatly hampered.
The WHO (2010) identifies a number of opportunities that are available to countries to help them strengthen their health systems. These include the health systems strengthening aspects as outlined in the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the proposals of the Global Fund to fight diseases such as Malaria, AIDS and Tuberculosis. PHC also promotes the utilization of locally available resources to make health services more accessible and affordable to community members. This coincides with Health systems strengthening motive in health care delivery to the citizens of Australia. Utilization of locally available resources helps to strengthen health care systems by making them more antiphonal and transparent to the community members’ healthcare needs. As per the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (2008), healthcare systems outcomes can be strengthened and enhanced when based on PHC.
Alma-Ata Declaration and how attitudes towards PHC have changed over time
According to the WHO (2010), although the basic pillars of PHC are still relevant, changes in the political, socioeconomic and demographic circumstances have aroused debate and led to a change in attitudes towards PHC. The World Health Report (2008) elaborates earlier and present attitudes towards PHC. Hall & Taylor (2003) also note that, civil war, natural disasters as well as HIV epidemic considerably hindered the ability of PHC to sustain a comprehensive service delivery. Tarimo & Webster (1997) also state that there was a lack of political good-will for many governments to implement the Alma-Ata declarations. They further state that PHC became a mere political jargon after the initial euphoria regards Alma-Ata declarations.
The following table highlights some of the changes in attitudes that have been identified since the Declaration of the Alma-Ata 1978.
Table 1: Change of attitudes towards PHC over Time. Adopted from WHO/SEARO 2010
Early Attitudes towards PHC Current Attitudes Towards PHC
Emphasized the Health of Mother and Child through family planning and immunizations Emphasizes on the health of everyone in the community
Focused on a small number of selected
diseases, primarily infectious and acute (AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria) Focuses on a comprehensive response to people’s expectations and needs, traversing an expansive range of risks and diseases
Focused on the improvement of hygiene, water, sanitation and health education at community level Focuses on the promotion of healthier lifestyles among all the citizens of the country.
Health service provision was Government-funded and delivery was through a centralized top–down management approach The health systems are pluralistic including the Government, Not for profit & For Profit Organizations, and are...