Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 5(1) September 2001 : 41-44.doi:10.12927/hcq..16697

Will Primary Healthcare Reform Improve Health?

John Millar and Sue Beardall


Primary healthcare reform is underway across Canada. There are many different meanings of primary healthcare (PHC), and there are many approaches to achieving reform. They generally have in common the following purposes:
  • Providing better access to cost-effective primary healthcare services.
  • Providing better coordination, integration, continuity and comprehensiveness of care.
  • Providing more focus on the patient and improving the patient's experience in care.
  • Providing better working conditions for healthcare providers.
  • Improving health and reducing inequities in health status.

In the Canadian context, primary healthcare providers include physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, mental health workers, dieticians, pharmacists, midwives and others. Some PHC organizations include public health, social workers, chiropractors, physiotherapists and acupuncturists. Increasing numbers of the population are utilizing naturopathy, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, massage, ayurvedic medicine and other disciplines for PHC.



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