A better future: Primary Health Care
Primary health care is a term used to describe a system where a patient’s health care needs are attended to by the most appropriately trained individual. This method of health care delivery has been called a “team based approach” (Health Canada, 2006). Instead of seeing the doctor for every health concern, other health professionals such as nurse practitioners, pharmacists, dieticians or physiotherapists may be called upon to take care of your concerns. In this paper I will discuss the issues in primary health care from the literature review/article Primary health care and the social determinants of health: essential and complementary approaches for reducing inequities in health (2010). I will once again provide a summary of Romanow’s (2002) arguments and recommendations concerning primary health care, and do the same with the Accord on Health Care Renewal (2003) and the First Ministers’ Meeting on the Future of Health in Canada (2004) accord’s. As the paper progresses I will then analyze and evaluate how the Accord on Health Care Renewal (2003) and the First Ministers’ Meeting on the Future of Health in Canada (2004) accord’s ignored or exceeded Romanow’s (2002) recommendations concerning primary health care. Toward the paper’s end, I will explain what has happened in Ontario in regard to primary care since the Agreements and the Romanow Commission report (2002) release. Lastly to conclude the paper I will try to go in depth and explain if Romanow’s (2002) recommendations about primary health care have been implemented by Ontario, and if his recommendation has helped improve the situation of primary health care. Through my research I found the piece of literature, Primary health care and the social determinants of health: essential and complementary approaches for reducing inequities in health (2010) extremely interesting and intriguing. Unlike any of the other reports and accords in this paper, this report draws on how an increasing focus on health inequities brought renewed attention to two related policy discourses ‑primary health care and the social determinants of health (Rasanathan et al, 2010). Both prioritise health equity and also promote a broad view of health, multisectoral action and the participation of empowered communities (Rasanathan et al, 2010). The report draws upon the importance of how primary health care and social determinants of health share a strong focus on intersectoral action for health (Rasanathan et al, 2010). Primary health care recognises that the health sector is not the only contributor to improving health. The Social Determinants of health discourse clearly reveals how the majority of health inequities are not caused by a lack of access to health services, but by the influence of inequalities in other sectors such as occupation, housing, or income. Thus, action regarding social determinants of health involves the whole of society, but the health sector has a key role in moving towards health equity and moving toward intersectoral action (Rasanathan et al, 2010). Unlike the Romanow (2002) report or the two accord’s (2002) (2003), this report involves the topic of social determinants of health. Although primary health care is supposed to be available to all 24/7, this report suggests that is not necessarily true. Rasanathan et al (2010) suggest that primary health care is an approach to organising society, including health systems, with the aim of achieving health equity. However, it is owned by and thus starts with health systems. By contrast, social determinants of health spark the issue that health inequities exist, which sees possible entry points for action to limit health inequities in the whole of society. In this analysis, the health sector/system is itself a social determinant of health (Rasanathan et al, 2010). The Rasanathan et al (2010) report calls in to question if primary health care truly helps everyone. It reaches out and sparks...
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