Integrated Health Services: from planning to action

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Integrated care is the most just, effective and economical way to improve the health of the population. It brings a comprehensive vision to maximize the level and distribution of health and well-being, with simultaneous actions on three main components:

 

  1. primary care and essential public health functions as the core of integrated health services;

  2. multisectoral policies and actions;

  3. empowerment of people and communities.

 

The effective implementation of this first component, understanding how to effectively integrate health services and how they respond to the needs of individuals and populations, in order to provide comprehensive and good quality services throughout the course of life, through work multidisciplinary teams in various environments and the use of evidence to continuously improve performance.

 

The integration of health services, when based on primary care and essential public health functions, strengthens not only person-centered care but also contributes to a better use of resources. These services improve equity, encourage the selection of services based on the holistic needs of a given population and offer numerous types of lifelong care, ranging from health promotion and disease prevention, to diagnosis, treatment, management of these diseases and long-term care, rehabilitation and palliative care.

 

Continuity of care must be coordinated at all different levels and locations of care within and outside the health sector.

An integrated approach to service delivery is crucial to the pursuit of universal health coverage.

Dr. Bruno Cavalcanti Farras
Mara Machado