The Difference between Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Medical Care
Health is the greatest wealth and healthcare is the organized medical care that treats and heals the individuals, ensuring the overall wellbeing of the public. As the number of diseases has increased, the bandwidth of healthcare has evolved at various levels.
The organized industry is able to provide the medical care with the help of the medical care providers such as surgeons, consultants, physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, medical lab technicians etc. The list continues expanding the medical care services that offered by the paraprofessionals. The industry also includes non-medical staff who ensure the day to day operations in the hospitals are running seamlessly.
The industry has revolutionized widening its boundaries over the time and it is one of the major and biggest sectors in every country. Making use of the potential of such huge sector may be difficult for the healthcare management, considering the need for suitable medical care a person may require. To ease the complexity involved in this aspect, the World Health Organization has segregated the healthcare delivery system into 3 categories, based on the range of services it offers.
Each health issue requires a certain level of healthcare depending on the individual and the intensity of the health issue he faces. Based on the level of care a patient requires the healthcare practices have been divided into three major categories.
- As the name implies it refers to the primary care focuses on the basic healthcare services that address the health issues faced by an individual.
- The care does not require a specialist and can be addressed comprehensively by a general physician.
- Primary care is witnessing a vigorous growth in both the developed and developing cities across all countries in the world.
- The goal is to make the general health solutions accessible to every individual as per the guidance of WHO.
- Primary care expects the increased participation of the general healthcare players, induce good healthcare practices at the basic level and meeting the expectations of the healthcare receivers.
- Secondary Healthcare includes specialists such as cardiologists, dermatologists, urologists and other specialists.
- Individuals reach out to the secondary medical care providers through the referral of the primary healthcare professionals.
- In few countries, the individuals cannot consult the specialists without the referral of the medical practitioner at the primary care level.
- The secondary healthcare providers act as a liaison between the patient and the advanced medical care.
- This is the care comes into the picture as a referral to patients by the primary and healthcare providers.
- The individuals may require advanced medical procedures such as major surgeries, transplants, replacements and long-term medical care management for diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders.
- The specialized consultive medical care is the highest forms of healthcare practices and performs all the major medical procedures.
- Advanced diagnostic centers, specialized intensive care units and modern medical facilities are the key features in the Tertiary Medical Care.
- The practices that provide tertiary medical care could be part of the government or a combination of both public and private sectors. The healthcare system in India is an example of the latter.
The healthcare providers who are part of these three levels of healthcare order, together provide medical services such as health issue finding, evaluating, providing treatment or referring to the next level of care based on the health needs.
The ever-increasing demand for health needs is pushing the borders of healthcare, forcing it to tread the new paths. And, managing a sector with such huge potential could be driven in the success path with the help of healthcare consulting firms in India.