A framework for regional primary health care to organise actions to address health inequities

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    Abstract

    Objectives: Regional primary health-care organisations plan, co-ordinate, and fund some primary health-care services in a designated region. This article presents a framework for examining the equity performance of regional primary health-care organisations, and applies it to Australian Medicare Locals (funded from 2011 to 2015). Methods: The framework was developed based on theory, literature, and researcher deliberation. Data were drawn from Medicare Local documents, an online survey of 210 senior Medicare Local staff, and interviews with 50 survey respondents. Results: The framework encompassed equity in planning, collection of equity data, community engagement, and strategies to address equity in access, health outcomes, and social determinants of health. When the framework was applied to Medicare Locals, their inclusion of equity as a goal, collection of equity data, community engagement, and actions improving equity of access were strong, but there were gaps in broader advocacy, and strategies to address social determinants of health, and equity in quality of care. Conclusions: The equity framework allows a platform for advancing knowledge and international comparison of the health equity efforts of regional primary health-care organisations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)567-575
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
    Volume63
    Issue number5
    Early online date16 Feb 2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

    Keywords

    • Equity of access
    • Health equity
    • Health promotion
    • Primary health care
    • Social determinants of health

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