Primary Healthcare Nursing

Primary Health Care is a whole-of-society approach to health and well-being centred on the needs and preferences of individuals, families and communities.  It addresses the broader determinants of health and focuses on the comprehensive and interrelated aspects of physical, mental and social health and wellbeing. It provides whole-person care for health needs throughout the lifespan, not just for a set of specific diseases. Primary health care ensures people receive comprehensive care - ranging from promotion and prevention to treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care - as close as feasible to people’s everyday environment.

Primary health care is rooted in a commitment to social justice and equity and in the recognition of the fundamental right to the highest attainable standard of health, as echoed in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and wellbeing of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services”.

The concept of primary health care has been repeatedly reinterpreted and redefined.  In some contexts, it has referred to the provision of ambulatory or first-level of personal health care services. In other contexts, primary health care has been understood as a set of priority health interventions for low-income populations (also called selective primary health care). Others have understood primary health care as an essential component of human development, focusing on the economic, social and political aspects.

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