Primary Care and Public Health
The members of a particular society or community can only be healthy when they prevent various injuries and diseases. It is, therefore, important to provide coordinated healthcare in a timely and effective manner. The public health and primary care sectors across the United States have taken the initiative to ensure that the members of the society are healthy. They achieve this through various contributions towards their health, though most often they conduct their work in isolation. However, concerted effort is primary to achieve an improved, lasting and substantially healthy population. Research has it that integration of both public health and primary care has the potential to enhance the capacity of improving the health of the entire population (Frieden, 2010). There is, however, no single approach that is more effective than the other, thus necessitating intersectoral and collaborative efforts between the private and public organizations to meet all the health needs and solve the problems of the society.
Some of the ways in which the state and the local government can work together with the health care organizations to foster integration between primary care and public health include providing appropriate funding and federal policy that help in improving and governing operations in the health care sector. Research has shown that federal funding and policy have been the greatest levers of the CDC operations, enabling them to integrate public health and primary care. The other efforts that have been made by the state and local government is by coming up with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is considered as the most important health policy since 1965, when Medicare and Medicaid Plan were created (Frieden, 2010). This law has provided opportunities for the public health sector together with the primary care sector to work in an effective way to bring about improvements in the health of the community. The aim was to change the manner in which health care was delivered and organized in these two sectors of health system in the nation. In the year 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was passed as a law, and since then it has stimulated funding of public health and primary care with an approximation made at $150 billion (Frieden, 2010).
Importance of Linking Primary Care and Public Health
When primary and public health are linked, they play an important role in ensuring that complex health problems are resolved at both the local and national levels. This is because the two systems share a common goal that is to bring about health improvement; thus a partnership has been found to not only catalyze their operations, but also improve the ways in which they offer health care services to the public. At the same time, research has found that their integration also enhances these two sector’s capacity of operations whereby they link the stakeholders to collaborate, while at the same time intersect movements towards improving population health (Grumbach & Mold, 2009).
On the other hand, linking primary care and public health enables each of these health care sectors to acquire their own goals, which will in turn positively affect the health of the community. It empowers each to have the skills, knowledge and resources regarding the ways in which they can make the health of the entire population better (Grumbach & Mold, 2009). In this regard, it is, therefore, important to view these two sectors as supportive components within the health system, which were designed with the aim of improving the population’s health. One major challenge of linking primary care and public health care is the possibility of one sector overlapping the other, which might affect the manner in which they offer their services.
Frieden, T. R. (2010). A framework for public health action: The health impact pyramid. American Journal of Public Health, 100(4), 590-595.
Grumbach, K., & Mold, J. W. (2009). A health care cooperative extension service. Journal of the American Medical Association, 24(301), 2589–2591.