PHC and Family Medicine

Primary health care (PHC) is being recognized as an often neglected but critical part of the health system that is ultimately essential to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and health for all.

Primary health care is focused on providing accessible, comprehensive, coordinated care focused on a person’s specific health needs and desires for wellness.  This approach is crucial to achieving the new Sustainable Development Goal for Health: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Family Medicine is the medical discipline specifically dedicated to delivering comprehensive primary health care for all at all ages, and seeks to address the health needs of everyone within their family and community settings.  A Family Medicine specialist focuses on all aspects of health and can be a powerful force for disease prevention in primary care – learn more here.  Family Medicine principles are essential for the PHC workforce and the entire team of PHC health professionals of all types including community-based physicians, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, community health workers, and others.

Over more than two decades of working in primary care system strengthening, we have learned from our experiences working with country partners to develop a Primary Care Playbook, outlining on the critical developmental steps for delivering strong high-quality PHC services by focusing on 1) human resources capacity-building, 2) strengthening clinical services, and 3) advocating and implementing better PHC policy.

In promoting system change, it is essential to recognize that each component impacts the others, and so coordinated and comprehensive efforts need to progress simultaneously in order to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.  Although each country has its own unique circumstances, strengths, and challenges, the playbook for effective system reform remains similar.



Laos Family Medicine Development Project

Primary Care and Medical Education in Central Vietnam

Vietnam Family Medicine Development Project

Strengthening District Hospitals and Health Centers in Lesotho

Strengthening Community Health Centers in Lesotho

Improving Primary Care in the Mekong Delta: Family Medicine Development (Vietnam)

Medical Equipment for Family Medicine Training Centers (Vietnam)

        Traditional Systems of Indian Medicine