The World Health Organisation has urged countries to improve primary healthcare, noting that ensuring quality care at the level would help make health for all a reality.
According to the global health body, nations need to increase funding for primary healthcare to improve services at this level of care, adding that this would not only protect more people from health threats but help ensure that countries emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The world health body disclosed this on its official Twitter handle @WHO on Saturday in commemoration of the International Universal Health Coverage Day #UHC2020 themed, ‘Health for all: protect everyone’.
According to WHO, investing in primary healthcare for universal health coverage boosts capacities to prepare for and respond to health emergencies.
The UN health agency said, “To end this crisis and build a safer and healthier future, we must invest in health systems that protect us all—now.
“To make health for all a reality, we need effective primary healthcare. This is how we can protect everyone from health threats and emerge stronger from COVID-19. We must act now to bring health services closer to the people.
“Investing in primary healthcare for universal health coverage boosts capacities to prepare for and respond to health emergencies. A health system that is resilient protects everyone.”
According to WHO, 60 million lives could be saved by investing $200 billion per year in primary health care.
WHO further said, “To deliver health for all, PHC must be central to health system efforts to build back better from COVID-19. PHC protects everyone. It can bring families and communities the healthcare they need in times of crisis just as in normal times.
“PHC helps protect you and protect everyone during #COVID19 by: maintaining essential health services, sharing information about how to protect yourself and others, delivering care for COVID-19 and building community trust.”
Giving further insight into why countries must prioritise improving primary health care, WHO explained, “All people, everywhere, deserve the right care, right in their community. This is the fundamental premise of primary health care.
“Primary health care addresses the majority of a person’s health needs throughout their lifetime. This includes physical, mental and social well-being and it is people-centred rather than disease-centred. PHC is a whole-of-society approach that includes health promotion, disease prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care.
“A primary health care approach includes three components: meeting people’s health needs throughout their lives; addressing the broader determinants of health through multisectoral policy and action; and empowering individuals, families and communities to take charge of their own health.
“By providing care in the community as well as care through the community, PHC addresses not only individual and family health needs, but also the broader issue of public health and the needs of defined populations.”
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