Health and social care

Topics: Medicine, Health economics, Primary health care Pages: 4 (1025 words) Published: January 15, 2014
Questions On Health Care Systems Health And Social Care Essay Define and explain the differences between primary health care and higher level health care (secondary and tertiary).

A person’s first level of contact, with regards to the health system is known as Primary Health Care (French, S., Old, A., & Healy, J. (2001)). It is necessary, usually community based, health care aimed to be reachable to all everywhere and delivering health care nearer to people’s homes and workplaces (Gillies A. (2003). The primary providers of this type of health care are general practitioners (GP’s); however the number of nurses and midwives that are providing primary health care is rising (French (2001)). Types of primary health care include the treatment of everyday problems such as sore throats, diabetes, etc. but also preventive care such as vaccinations and screening (Bodenheimer, T. S., and Brumbach, K. (2009)). Primary health care also requires continuity which allows a GP to track and ensure the health of a patient over time (Schoen, C., Osborn, R., Doty, M. M., Bishop, M., Peugh, J., Murukutla, N. (2007)).

The next level up from primary health care is Secondary and Tertiary Health Care. Secondary requires the use of more specialised skill and equipment to fix the problems (Bodenheimer, T. S., and Brumbach, K. (2009)). Such services will usually be found in hospitals, inpatient services and outpatient clinics, as well as the occasional private clinics (French et al (2001)). This type of care is reserved for specialist doctors in such fields as neurology, gynaecology, general surgery amongst others and can only act as consultants through referrals from the person’s GP (Bodenheimer, T. S., and Brumbach, K. (2009)). Tertiary health care is for the more complex and expensive procedures with only a select few hospitals fully equipped to handle them, such as open heart surgery or organ transplants (Bodenheimer, T. S., and Brumbach, K. (2009)).

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