Why strengthening primary health care is essential to achieving universal health coverage

Chris Van Weel, Michael R. Kidd

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    61 Citations (Scopus)


    Van Weel and Kidd cite that primary health care addresses the health needs of all patients at the community level, integrating care, prevention, promotion and education. Primary health care improves the performance of health systems by lowering overall health care expenditure while improving population health and access. The aims of primary health care overlap with those of universal health coverage, which aims to ensure access to essential health services and safe, effective and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all people. To achieve universal health coverage, reforms should focus on strengthening primary health care to ensure equity and cost containment. Health system reforms should be monitored with indicators that reflect the core characteristics of primary health care: continuity of care, person- and population-centeredness, coordination of care, prevention, health promotion and patient autonomy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)E463-E466
    Number of pages5
    Issue number15
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2018


    • primary health care
    • universal health coverage
    • population health improvement
    • health system reforms
    • access


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