Health care for communities(HCC) and levels of health care:

Primary level (first contact level) with a health centre (smaller health centers may be called dispensaries, health stations, health posts) serving a defin…

Health care for communities(HCC) and levels of health care:

To improve public awareness on heath and to provide community based services for vulnerable people. Community based health addresses basic health care needs in targeted communities, empowering people to take care of their own health.

Some of our priorities are:

  • Community based health and first aid
  • Communicable diseases prevention and surveillance
  • Public health in emergencies, including HIV/AIDS
  • Prevention and reduction of stigma
  • Hygiene, water and sanitation

Healthcare for Communities is designed to provide information on how the healthcare system is functioning and changing for people with alcohol, drug abuse and mental health conditions. HCC tracks changes in health policy, health care delivery, access to care, and costs and outcomes of care related to ADM conditions. Healthcare for Communities (HCC) was funded under the RWJF Health Tracking Initiative as a bold, new attempt to provide more systematic, relevant, and timely information on ADM care. Initial goals included providing the first, basic national estimates in some areas, such as documenting the level of quality of care provided nationally for common mental disorders; and providing a basic information infrastructure to help inform current policy debates. This kind of integration of clinical and policy relevant issues had not been attempted before on a national scale.

Levels of Health Care:

There are 3 different levels of health care system which are primary, secondary, and tertiary. In this post, you’ll get to know more about these health care systems. These referral systems are interlinked or interconnected to one another.

Primary health care is about preventing illness or disability. Devolved to cities and municipalities Usually the first contact between the community members and other levels of health facility. Center physicians, public health nurse, rural health midwives, brgy. Health workers, traditional healers. This would include Well Women’s Clinics, child immunisation programs, malaria prevention and that sort of thing.

Primary level (first contact level) with a health centre (smaller health centers may be called dispensaries, health stations, health posts) serving a defined community or area – normally several villages (at a single village level, at best there might be some community or auxiliary health workers).  A health centre carries out health promotion, protective, preventive, simple diagnostic, curative and rehabilitative activities for ambulant patients, normally has no beds other than perhaps those needed for emergencies and maternity care.  In most instances, it has no physician on the staff, but a physician assistant or nurse assisted by community or auxiliary health workers.  The most sophisticated devices at a typical health centre would be syringes for immunization, phonendoscope, and weight scale for babies.

Secondary health care is where a patient is ill and is treated, usually by nurses and doctors, a more sophisticated hospital (may be a provincial hospital) providing multi-specialist intra- and extramural care, and serving as a backstop for the first referral hospitals in the hierarchy of technical competence.  It may also, on occasion, have special expertise in some particular medical diagnostic and treatment domain, which would qualify it as an institution of last referral for a specific subject. Given by physicians with basic health training. Usually given in health facilities either private owned or government operated. Infirmaries, municipal, district hospital, out-patient departments. Rendered by specialists in health facilities.Treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure, bronchitis and minor fractures are some examples of secondary health care.

Tertiary health care is where things have gone wrong and long term care and rehabilitation programs are used, for instance if someone had a double amputation, they would need artificial limbs and physiotherapy and possibly adaptations to the home. Referral system for the secondary care facilities. Provided complicated cases and intensive care. Medical centers, regional and provincial hospitals and specialized hospitals.

Principles of Primary Health Care:

Primary health care is required by many individuals in order to receive necessary health care services. Providing primary health care means that services should be accessible to all individuals who require various types of health services. Primary health care, as defined by the World Health Organization, is universally accessible health care that is socially acceptable, affordable and requires individuals to be more self-reliant with their health care needs.

Equitable distribution:

  • Healthcare should be available to all people irrespective of financial and social status
  • The rich and the poor should have equal access to health facilities


Primary health care has many goals, but the most important is introducing the importance of self-reliance to individuals. Individuals should know where health care starts, such as the home and the workplace, because this is where individuals typically spend most of their time. When individuals become more self-reliant, they may use various alternatives to prevent disease and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Community participation:

The community should be involved in the planning, implementation and maintenance of health programs.  Locally available resources – materials and man power – should be used eg: Village health guides in India. They are selected from the local population and provide primary healthcare. This helps to overcome the social and cultural barriers

Health Service Requirements:

Health services should be accessible, affordable, acceptable and available to all individuals who require them. Typically, health care providers are located in centralized urban areas that most people can easily reach. Heath services should also promote the use of traditional medicine, such as essential vitamins and drugs.

Intersectoral coordination:

Different sectors like agriculture, education and public works should work together to bring about improvements in healthcare. eg: In case of on outbreak of malaria, The agricultural department can help as the breeding site of Anopheles mosquito is large bodies of water like paddy fields. The public works department can help to bring about environmental modification. Industries can provide insecticides. Education department can introduce programs to increase awareness. Another example of intersectoral coordination is in case of minimum needs program.

Essential Health Services:

Health care providers should provide the essential health services that are needed by the majority of people in a particular area. This can include training based on the needs and priorities of the local or regional community. Health care providers should also be monitored with periodic evaluations in a community to rate their performance.

Participation of the Community:

Individuals should be involved in or at least made aware of how various health issues can affect their local community. Local advertisements or public service notices can be used to promote awareness of health issues such as smoking, being diagnosed with cancer or other health issues that can directly affect a community. A community can even start a local health organization to promote various issues at the municipal level.

Appropriate technology:

The technology applied should be

  • scientifically sound
  • adaptable to local needs
  • acceptable to the people who implement it and those who use it
  • can be maintained using the locally available resources