Intending to explore new effective methods of improving the quality of healthcare, the 2017 Medicine Use Conference in Miami, Florida, focused on a precision medicine model as a tool in customizing patient care based on the doctor’s genetic assessment of the patient’s disease. Populations of developed countries enjoy the benefits of such personalized and relatively advanced healthcare – from products used to treatments employed – due to their strong public health foundation. Unfortunately, healthcare for most parts of the world leaves much to be desired.
An envisioned healthcare program, specifically for low- to middle-income countries, features a universal coverage of public health, strengthened primary care, health care provider networks, and the use of information and communications technology.
The country’s healthcare program must cover each citizen of the country through national health insurance. After being enrolled with their preferred primary care provider in their communities, patients should automatically be eligible for all healthcare services such as dental, mental, medical, and emergency services for free. However, it does not waive fees for non-essential health packages such as private accommodations.
Meanwhile, the country’s health department must also be continuously empowered as they should be on top of the implementation of such programs. Monitoring and evaluation of campaigns promoting health and wellness, health education, immunization initiatives, and surveillance of diseases, among other capacity-building plans for community-based primary care providers, are some of their expected complementary outputs.
Health Care Provider Networks
Networks managed by provinces and highly urbanized cities are essential in overseeing the hospitals, clinics, and other community-based primary care providers. Apart from managing their area’s health funds more effectively and equitably, these networks make the delivery of patients from primary care to tertiary and specialized care smoother.
Information And Communications Technology
Lastly, a modern healthcare system relies on technology not only in providing quality and responsive care for patients but also in safekeeping and centralizing data through a health information system. It connects data between health care provider networks to help transmit patient data from one institution to another.
Since providing primary care for free, if not for a much cheaper cost, is expensive, governments have to earmark more budget for health. A reprioritization of needs, if therefore required on a national level, and more data-driven health demands should be made from the grassroots. After all, a healthy population is a requisite to a just, safe, and progressive society.