ABSTRACT Individual healthcare integrated with population healthcare through public health has been effective and possible through the model of community-oriented primary care. In Cuba, primary healthcare is the supporting structure of the national health system, including universal coverage and the care for individuals, their families, and the community. The national health system and community-oriented primary care contribute with health improvement and the decrease in health inequalities and in inequities of provided care. This article presents their comprehensive description and analysis.
RESUMEN La integración del cuidado de la salud individual con el de la población a través de la salud pública se ha podido llevar a cabo de forma efectiva a partir del modelo de la atención primaria orientada a la comunidad. En Cuba, la atención primaria es la base del sistema nacional de salud, con acceso universal y cuidado de los individuos, sus familias y la comunidad. El sistema nacional de salud y la atención primaria orientada a la comunidad contribuyen a la mejora de la salud y a la disminución de desigualdades en salud e iniquidades en la provisión de servicios. Este artículo presenta su descripción y análisis.
The community-oriented primary care (COPC) model strives to efficiently distribute, organize, and systematize existing health care resources. In addition to promoting healthy lifestyles within the community, the COPC model enables the health care team and the community to cooperate in identifying and prioritizing health issues. Together they develop and implement prevention and treatment plans for those priority areas. With COPC, the health services assume responsibility for the health of a defined population. The health services not only treat diseases but also develop programs for health promotion, protection, and maintenance. Taking this approach, COPC integrates individual and family clinical care with public health, reflecting the spirit of the International Conference on Primary Health Care held in Alma-Ata in 1978. COPC is a systematic process, with flexible principles and methodologies that can be modified to meet the specific challenges of any health care team and community. An analysis of various countries' experiences with COPC shows that applying the model appropriately can improve the general health status of the community and its members.