GP primary care model flagged for China
ONE in five deaths in China could be averted if a primary care-based healthcare model was embraced to address preventable risk factors, Australian researchers say.
Associate Professor Lyndal Trevena, head of the Office for Global Health at the University of Sydney, called for China’s billion-dollar health reform package to adopt a primary care approach in which GPs acted as ‘gatekeepers’ for hospital care.
Hypertension currently accounts for 11.7% of deaths in China, and smoking for another 7.9 per cent.
“Primary care is better placed than large hospitals to monitor risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes,” she said.
Currently, most Chinese patients seek even basic care at a hospital, and this sector employs 61% of all healthcare workers.
Health experts say a major obstacle to implementing a primary care-based system is the current reliance by healthcare providers on co-payments and out-of-pocket expenditure on a fee-for-service basis.
BMJ 2010; 341:c5049