Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care

Call for Papers

Staying True: Navigating the Opportunities and Challenges of PHC Reform

Guest Editors:
Prof. Jeannie Haggerty (McGill Research Chair in Family & Community Medicine, St. Mary’s Hospital Research Centre; Dept. Family Medicine, McGill, Montreal, Canada)
A/Prof. John Furler (Dept of General Practice, The University of Melbourne, Australia)
A/Prof. Virginia Lewis (Australian Institute for Primary Care & Ageing, La Trobe University, Australia)

This Special Issue will explore the potential and the problems posed by PHC reform as an international movement to deliver better health outcomes.

Overview: For over 40 years, comprehensive primary health care (PHC) has been seen as the key foundation of an effective, equitable, responsive and sustainable health system (http://www.who.int/publications/almaata_declaration_en.pdf?ua=1). Comprehensive PHC systems provide essential first-contact health care that is accessible and affordable, continuous and holistic, practical and scientifically sound. In particular, comprehensive PHC is participatory and based on a spirit of self-reliance and self-determination for individuals and communities. Ten years ago the WHO called for a renewed focus on comprehensive PHC because they recognised the need and the challenges inherent in creating equitable health systems (World Health Organisation 2008). Faced with rising costs, the growing burden of chronic illness, an ageing population, and in the context of increasing corporatisation of health care systems, there is a policy view that PHC is a solution to the problems facing funders of health systems. PHC is being asked to do more, often without additional investment, while at the same time its core essence is potentially undermined. Primary care reforms driven by notions of efficiency, accountability, risk management, standardisation and service integration can pose challenges to values of localism, community ownership and responsiveness which are at the heart of comprehensive PHC.

Key questions: Papers may address the following topics (or other relevant questions):

  • How can system-level thinking about PHC recognise the needs of individuals and communities?
  • Is the Healthcare Home model consistent with the principles of PHC? (Labels more familiar in other contexts may be patient centred medical home, patient’s medical home).
  • Does a focus on guidelines and quality indicators help to achieve the goals of PHC?
  • How is the community voice maintained in comprehensive PHC? Demonstrating the benefits of community control/community power in comprehensive PHC.
  • Can we afford good quality PHC for everyone?
  • How can integrated comprehensive PHC flourish and contribute to social equity?
  • How can notions of generalism and specialism be appropriately embedded in PHC systems?
  • How can relationship-based care contribute to PHC reform and development?
  • How can communities be mobilised to sustain and drive comprehensive PHC?

Submission: The Special Issue will be published mid-2018 but papers will become available ‘Online Early’ immediately following acceptance and production. Your paper should conform to the Author Instructions. Articles may be up to 3000 words. Please submit your complete manuscript through our online journal management system ScholarOne Manuscripts. All submissions will be subject to peer-review.
Submission Deadline: 19 January 2018.

Contact for questions: Virginia Lewis

Download a version of this invitation here.