Gaps in primary care | International Journal of Hypertension | ePub
“Implementing essential noncommunicable (NCD) interventions in primary care (PC) has the potential to prevent NCD complications such as heart attacks, strokes, blindness, amputations, and renal disease. There are many cost-effective and high-impact interventions that are feasible to be delivery in primary care in low-resource settings by physician as well as non-physician health care providers […] Any scaling up efforts to address NCDs in low-resource settings need to invest resources to address the critical gaps in the health system.”
Objective: The objective was to evaluate the capacity of primary care (PC) facilities to implement basic interventions for prevention and management of major noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was done in eight low- and middle-income countries (Benin, Bhutan, Eritrea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, and Vietnam) in 90 PC facilities randomly selected. The survey included questions on the availability of human resources, equipment, infrastructure, medicines, utilization of services, financing, medical information, and referral systems.
Results and Conclusions: Major deficits were identified in health financing, access to basic technologies and medicines, medical information systems, and the health workforce. The study has provided the foundation for strengthening PC to address noncommunicable diseases. There are important implications of the findings of this study for all low-income and middle-income countries as capacity of PC is fundamental for equitable prevention and control of NCDs.