What is primary health care?

Encompassing the WHO's Declaration of Alma Ata (WHO 1978) and recent Primary Health Care: A Framework for Future Strategic Directions (WHO 2003), we define primary health care as:

Socially appropriate, universally accessible, scientifically sound first level care provided by a suitably trained workforce supported by integrated referral systems and in a way that gives priority to those most need, maximises community and individual self-reliance and participation and involves collaboration with other sectors. It includes the following:

  • health promotion
  • illness prevention
  • care of the sick
  • advocacy
  • community development.

The Primary Health Care Research Information Service (PHCRIS) maintains an excellent page defining primary health care.

Updated:  20 September 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, APHCRI/Page Contact:  Web Admin, APHCRI