PHP’s Model of Comprehensive Healthcare
Our vision of comprehensive healthcare aims to address health through three interconnected realms: health facilities, community health workers, and households. All three realms play equally important and complementary roles in the healthcare system. First, health facilities form the core of the healthcare delivery system. They include professionals who provide healthcare services to patients and should be able to handle the most complicated health problems. Health service providers help spearhead programs in the surrounding community in response to pressing needs. To improve the quality of health facilities, we aim to provide training to health workers and increase staffing and infrastructure.
Branching off from healthcare facilities, community health workers (CHWs) are community members who we train to deliver basic health services. Although they are not a replacement for the professionals at the healthcare facilities, the CHWs can help alleviate the pressures on healthcare facilities and can extend basic care to community members who may not be able to easily access a health center. As the intermediaries between health workers and patients in the community, the CHWs help coordinate the implementation of village-level programs, ensure that patients receive appropriate care, and relay any health problems to the professionals at the healthcare facility. As peers of community members, CHWs are in a unique position to act as an additional resource in the healthcare system.
Third, households, or patients, are the focus of healthcare delivery. Disease patterns and needs amongst households must inform the delivery of healthcare services by the community health workers and health facilities. Additionally, health centers must be accessible to households. Adequate transportation services are critical for allowing patients to reach health facilities. In addition to receiving services, households themselves may be in a position to engage in practices that promote health, such as improved hygiene and nutrition. We have found that these practices can often be encouraged through community-level education programs.