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The concept of primary care came into lime light in 1978 following an international conference in ALMA ATA, USSR. The primary health care approach is based on principles of social equity, nation wide coverage, self reliance, inter sectoral co ordination and implementation of health programs in pursuit of common health goals. This approach is defined as “health by the people, and placing peoples health in peoples hand”.
Primary health care is Essential health care made universally accessible to individuals and acceptable to them, through full participation and at a cost the community and country can afford.
Health services are usually organized at three levels and each supported by a higher level to which the patient is referred.
Levels of health care
Primary health care – Provided at the PHC, SC (sub centre), home visit
Secondary health care – Provided at Taluk, District hospital.
Tertiary health care – Provided at Super Speciality and medical college hospitals
This is the first level of contact between the individual and the health system. A majority of health complaints and problems can be satisfactorily dealt at this level.
This level serves as the first referral service and more complex problems are dealt.
This level offers super specialty care provided by the regional and central level institution.
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