TitlePrimary Care: Summary of Recent Developments
AuthorsFoster S., Laing R., Feeley F., Alkenbrack S.
PublisherDepartment of International Health, Boston University School of Public Health
LocationBoston, MA
AbstractPrimary care is at the heart of healthcare reform in Central Asia. By increasing a patient’s relationship with one specific primary care physician, it is anticipated that the physician will be able to resolve most medical problems without referral. Through an analysis of primary care in a number of developed countries, and a review of related literature, this document explains why an emphasis on primary care is ultimately more effective than narrow specialty outpatient and inpatient care. The report concludes that primary care does work although there is no single model of primary care that must be followed. Good results are achieved from systems with different sources of funding, different types of organization, and different schemes of physician compensation. The report stresses the importance of adequate funding for primary care, even if at the expense of other healthcare sectors; high-quality education for primary care physicians; the role of continuity provided in the primary care doctor-patient relationship; and the importance of the holistic approach.