Primary health care is the everyday care we need to protect, maintain or restore our health. For most people, it’s the first point of contact with the health care system and the most frequently used health service.
Examples of primary health care:
- Visiting a family physician or nurse practitioner about the flu, allergies or chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis;
- Getting advice from a pharmacist about prescription drugs or aids for quitting smoking;
- Talking to a mental health or addictions counsellor about depression, anxiety or substance use issues;
- Getting advice from a dietitian about nutrition; or
- Seeing a physical therapist about exercise programs.
These types of exchanges account for 80 per cent of all interactions in our health care system.
Strengthening primary health care in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is working to improve primary health care to better serve the needs of patients and communities. The province released a new framework for primary health care in 2012. This framework was developed in collaboration with patients, community leaders, health care providers and health system leaders.
The main objectives of the framework are better access, improved patient experience, and more stable, sustainable primary health services in Saskatchewan.