Primary health care refers to basic, everyday health care. It is usually your first encounter with a health care provider when you need care or advice and could be visiting the family doctor or nurse practitioner, talking to a dietitian or a pharmacist, or calling a toll-free health advice line to talk to a health professional. Primary health care is the foundation of the health care system and involves providing services, through a team of health professionals, to individuals, families, and communities.
Primary health care is the right care at the right time by the right provider for you and your family.
Staying healthy and finding the right care at the right time with the right health care provider – that’s what primary health care is all about. It’s a simple idea: organize health services to provide timely access to the right kind of care. Whether it’s dealing with illness or injury – or preventing them from occurring in the first place – primary health care means healthier communities and less stress on our health care system.
Primary health care starts with prevention and education about healthy choices. Helping people find ways to stay healthy and safe is more effective than treating illness, disease, or injury after it occurs.
Primary Health Care is Based on 4 Key Pillars:
Primary Health Care is about health care providers working in teams to improve the continuity of care, reduce duplication and ensure you have access to appropriate health professionals. You are an important member of your health care team and are involved in decisions about your own health.
Primary Health Care is about improved coordination of information between health care providers and expanded access to information for Canadians using the health system or seeking health advice. It’s about using tools like electronic health records and diagnostic instruments to improve the quality, access and coordination of health information. Primary Health Care also encourages greater sharing of information with you so you can make better decisions about your health and health care.
Primary Health Care is about improving access, and ensuring that you have greater access to the right services when and where you need them. It recognizes that you need advice, information and care outside of regular office hours. Primary Health Care stresses providing greater access for more Canadians to health services.
Healthy living focuses on prevention, the management of chronic conditions, encouraging support for self-care and the understanding that factors outside of the health system can influence individual and community health. It is about keeping you well, rather than just treating you after you have become sick
As the Cypress Health Region works toward bringing a primary health care approach to more and more communities, you may see some changes in how you access care. One of these changes is a more deliberate, formalized health care team approach. This approach gives you access to a team of health professionals, including some you see already (like a family doctor or nurse practitioner) and maybe some you haven’t considered before (certified diabetic educator, pharmacist, physiotherapist, midwife, health educator, or dietitian).
With a team approach, information is shared so each team member can see your ‘big picture’ and focus on the small details. This reduces duplication of tests and other services. Most importantly, it gives you and your family better advice, care, and treatment based on the collective expertise of your team.
For more information on the Cypress Health Region’s primary health care programming please call 306.778.5118 or toll free at 1.877.401.8071.
Primary health care continues to grow in Saskatchewan. Please visit the Ministry of Health website for additional information on primary health care programming.