The European Forum for Primary Care prescribes a healthier future for Europeans #TheFutureIsYours
Primary Health Care (PHC) is an indispensable good comparable to electricity, or public transport. It is proposed that the percentage of total health expenditure for PHC rises to 25-30 %, from the current 13% because of its high value and since it sets the agenda for healthcare through an evidence-based approach.
Integrated PHC services should be supported by healthcare professionals through inter-disciplinary teams, set up to support both gate-keeping and direct access. It is recommended that a mixed system of referrals and payment of a fee per patient/service is used to support continuity of care. Development of patient data sets will outline the patients/community needs and patients records should be developed as per EU guidelines to include migrants, tourists or transient patients.
PHC includes healthy lifestyle programmes and facilitates access to services such as home care, nursing care, mental health care, youth care, medical and pharmaceutical care, midwifery, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work and dentistry. Other services include; screening of infectious disease, vaccinations, contact-tracing, self-care regimes, drug dispensing, programmes for physical activity, exercise and nutrition, , access to specialised care, all through patient empowerment. Healthcare professionals should be trained as first contact practitioners to be able to provide high-quality care.