A primary healthcare provider is the first person you need to contact when you have a health problem. A primary care provider is any healthcare professional who is the first point of contact for the health system; it can be a local community health center, clinical officer, physician assistant, nurse, physiotherapist, pharmacist, or doctor. Primary care gives patients ready access to their health care team.
What is the Function of a Primary Care Provider?
Primary health care providers are responsible for diagnosis and treatment of a common health condition; management of chronic or long-term diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease; and prevention of future ill-health through advice, vaccination, and regular checkup programs. They help you maintain good health, with regular health checks, health advice when you have concerns, and support you in ongoing care plans.
Primary care practices are generally located in the community they serve. Under Afya Bora Afrika, we aim to interlink primary health providers to their communities through medical app connectivity. We aim to facilitate easy and simplified access to primary health care while maintaining a variety of connectivity to other health providers for referral and other care needs.
What are the advantages of having a Primary Care Provider?
1. Maintain good health
Primary care providers offer preventive care and teach healthy lifestyle choices. They help with age-appropriate screening by monitoring the elderly's health and advising on better health practices. Primary health care services play an important role in advising and helping patients to prevent disease progression and support good health by encouraging patients to take preventive measures for their health such as stopping smoking, getting vaccinated against diseases, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet. Promoting health initiatives helps improve patient health and reduces the spread of diseases such as Tuberculosis and Covid-19.
2. Managing health conditions
Primary health care is based on caring for people than specific diseases; it can be ongoing or long-term health conditions. Primary care providers help identify and treat medical conditions in home-based care patients timely, comfortably, and adequately. By continuously educating and monitoring patients about their health and providing relevant information about diseases and treatments, primary care providers enhance vigilance and prevent disease progression and premature deaths.
3. Early intervention
Screening patients for early signs of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, mental illness, and cancers is important for better health and wellbeing of the patients. Primary care providers assess the urgency of your medical problems and direct you to the best place for that care.
4. Coordinated Care
Primary care providers make referrals to medical specialists when necessary and help coordinate care with specialists. If you are admitted to the hospital, your primary care provider may assist in or direct your care, depending on the circumstances.
5. Reduce Health Expenditure
Primary healthcare help reduce health care expenditure on patients compared to emergency visits. The care providers counsel patients about their health and give the right advice promptly and when applicable, preventing wastage of resources on travels and unnecessary procedures.