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ORIGINAL RESEARCH PAPER
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 74

Towards Unity for Health Utilising Community-Oriented Primary Care in Education and Practice


Ghent University, University Hospital, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, Gent, Belgium

Correspondence Address:
B Art
University Hospital - 1K3, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, De Pintelaan 185, B-9000 Gent
Belgium
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 18058692

Context: Although the evidence is overwhelming that healthcare is delivered more effectively if one involves the targeted communities in decisions concerning their health, top-down programs still rule the world. Objectives: In order to highlight the benefits of a community-oriented approach, we report the experiences from Ghent, Belgium on COPC styled healthcare initiatives and COPC modelled multidisciplinary education. Community-oriented Primary Care and Education: COPC is a five-step model combining primary health care, public health and community data and resources. The involvement of community (members) is a crucial element in any effort to effectively enhance health (care) in a given community. Small scale examples from two health centers are given. In order to train future healthcare workers to be able to function with the communities, they participate in a one-week interdisciplinary course based on the COPC cycle at the University of Ghent. The COPC program in relation to Its practical organisation, goals and limitations are presented and discussed. Conclusion: In order to reach health objectives set out by disease-specific or health promotion programs, a community-sensitive approach is needed, especially for the most deprived communities. The COPC model offers inspiration and can be a practical tool to work with communities. It is also feasible to create a short COPC exercise to prepare future healthcare workers for complex community work. This model is one of the ways to concretise some of the main objectives of TUFH.


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