Healthcare is among the many pillars that contribute to a person’s excellent well-being. Despite the fundamentality of promoting healthcare, it’s disappointing to know that half of the entire globe doesn’t have access to essential healthcare services.
Moreover, the World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 100 million people who spend their household budgets on healthcare expenses are being pushed into extreme poverty to meet the health and medical needs of their sick relatives.
Unfortunately, many people aren’t well educated about taking care of their health, especially those living in low- to middle-income countries. Many individuals don’t opt to seek medical help until their conditions have worsened.
The Problem With Today’s Healthcare
Consulting with a health professional regularly is important to one’s overall health. Regardless of your current health condition, you should accomplish your annual check-up to have a more comprehensive understanding of the status of your health.
However, there are many cases in which people won’t even remember the last time they’ve visited their doctor. Some might even justify their failure or refusal to visit by insisting that they’re well and healthy, or don’t experience any symptoms of being ill. Because of the exorbitant costs of healthcare today, which make it inaccessible to common folk, there are many who would rather skip doctor visits until it’s too late.
Moreover, many people also choose not to go to a health professional due to embarrassment and a fear of being judged because of their lack of understanding about their own health risks. Many also lack support and, most importantly, lack the education about how significant primary care really is.
In this article, we’ll be exploring one of the essential facets of the healthcare system, known as primary care, along with its significance and associated health services. In addition, we’ll be looking at the situation of primary care in the COVID-19 era and how it gave way to hastened telemedicine utilization.
What Is Primary Care?
Primary care is identified as a health approach that addresses an individual’s general health needs and requirements throughout their lifetime. To achieve a holistic approach to well-being, primary care bridges the gap between the physical, emotional, mental, and social health needs of an individual patient or a family.
When you encounter a health problem, your first contact with the healthcare system is also labeled primary care. However, keep in mind that primary care is different from primary healthcare, which are often used interchangeably. Primary care centers on the idea of receiving health services from a family doctor, while primary healthcare caters to both family and public health settings.
If you and your family still don’t have access to any form of primary care, it’s crucial to start immediately. Since primary care is available in communities, find nearby assistance for your family that provides primary care services from board-certified health practitioners.
Everyone needs primary care as it lays the groundwork for sound health and wellness. While primary care is a generalized term for seeking professional advice for health concerns, ongoing medical support, or getting regular health checks, every individual has unique needs that require a different primary care approach.
Importance Of Primary Care
What makes primary care an essential building block of healthcare? Here are important reasons you should prioritize seeking primary care no matter your age, health condition, and medical history:
- Detect underlying health symptoms and prevent disease early. As previously mentioned, many people don’t consult a physician because they’re not feeling sick or are only experiencing mild symptoms. By seeking regular primary care, your physician can recognize potential or progressing health issues early and prevent further aggravation.
- Practice better management of chronic diseases. People with existing health conditions should coordinate with their doctors during check-ups, screening, and treatment to manage their illnesses. One of the main objectives of primary care is to give these people another chance of enjoying a healthier life.
- Increase level of comfort. Knowing that you’re in the hands of a licensed primary physician promotes a different level of ease and peace of mind. With exceptional guidance from your primary care providers, you’re a step closer to achieving a better quality of life.
- Cut down overall healthcare costs. Healthcare is undoubtedly expensive, and it’s one of the biggest reasons many people can’t receive quality healthcare services. However, the preventative aspect of primary care helps lower your healthcare and medical costs in the long run. When availing of health services, try your best to look for ways to save money.
- Acquire reliable referrals of healthcare specialists from your primary care doctor. In case you need medical specialists to attend to your specific needs, your primary care physician can recommend trusted specialists in their respective fields.
Services Offered By Primary Care
Your primary care provider is responsible for curating a health management plan tailored to your personal needs and preferences. While your health approach and practices are highly customizable, they should still be aligned with the following services provided by primary care:
- Diagnosis and treatment of chronic and acute illnesses
- Immunizations and vaccinations
- Birth control services
- Diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular health screenings
- Medication prescription
- Minor surgical procedures
- Wound care
- Pediatric and geriatric care
- Health maintenance and counseling
- Patient education
Primary Care During COVID-19 And The Rise Of Telemedicine
Primary care visits typically happen in person, but the whole primary care situation was disrupted when the COVID-19 pandemic brought about chaos. Telemedicine, an alternative healthcare model involving cloud-based technology, became heavily relevant in the primary care landscape.
Instead of visiting your primary care specialist in their physical offices and clinics, you can meet each other online with the help of telemedicine. These telemedicine platforms are built with comprehensive, intuitive features to make online interactions as close to face-to-face appointments as possible.
While telemedicine has opened up new hopes, the healthcare and medical industry has barely scratched its surface, and further exploration is needed to properly assess the benefits and risks of using telemedicine. As more challenges emerge during the application of telemedicine in primary care, the healthcare system should develop clear goals, objectives, and procedures taken from past lessons the healthcare industry has learned.
Being the foundation of the healthcare system, people should highlight primary care as one of their life’s priorities as it aids with care and guidance for good health. To ensure that the public will prioritize primary care for themselves and their families, it’s crucial to implement primary care at a cost that everyone can afford.