Primary healthcare policy implementation in South Asia

van Weel, Chris, Kassai, Ryuki, Qidwai, Waris, Kumar, Raman, Bala, Kanu, Prasad Gupta, Pramendra, Haniffa, Ruvaiz, Rajapaksa Hewageegana, Neelamani, Ranasinghe, Thusara, Kidd, Michael and Howe, Amanda (2016) Primary healthcare policy implementation in South Asia. BMJ Global Health, 1 (2).

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Primary healthcare is considered an essential feature of health systems to secure population health and contain costs of healthcare while universal health coverage forms a key to secure access to care. This paper is based on a workshop at the 2016 World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) South Asia regional conference, where the health systems of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were presented in relation to their provision of primary healthcare. The five countries have in recent years improved the health of their populations, but currently face the challenges of non-communicable diseases and ageing populations. Primary healthcare should be a core component in restructuring health systems. However, there is a lack of understanding among policymakers of the unique contribution of primary healthcare to the health of populations. This results in insufficient investment in facilities and low priority of specialty training in the community setting. Regional collaboration could strengthen the advocacy for primary healthcare to policymakers and other stakeholders. Priorities were investment in community-based health facilities, and access to healthcare through professionals specialty-trained in the primary healthcare setting. This development fits the strategy of the WHO South East Asian Region to use community-based healthcare in achieving universal health coverage for the Asian populations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Health Services and Primary Care
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2016 00:45
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 01:30
DOI: 10.1136/bmjgh-2016-000057


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