What Is Primary Health Care in Poor Countries?
Health care financing and delivery in developing countries is often not centered in well-regulated medical systems or facilities as it is in the West. Instead, primary healthcare exists as a fragmented combination of private and public community-based organizations. Because the availability of public infrastructure is limited, many people turn to private services paid for out of pocket.
Private services are often driven more by profit than by medical discipline or humanitarian principles and are largely focused on marketing and sales. Because people in developing nations can lack access to education, they are unequipped with the knowledge necessary to distinguish marketing from legitimate medical recommendations. As a result, primary healthcare is largely undervalued. Further, there is little systemic recourse for victims of malpractice or negligence.
Low-income rural patients have even less access to primary healthcare than urban residents. They frequently turn to what is called the “informal sector” for care, relying on unqualified drug sellers and medical providers for treatment.
In war-torn developing countries like Palestine and Lebanon, violent political conflicts create still further obstacles to high-quality healthcare. In addition, the thousands of refugees there are ineligible for public health care services. Medical aid for Palestine and Lebanon is provided by private sector medical services, which can be prohibitively expensive.
In response to the limited access to healthcare in the places it is needed most, the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) continues to provide medical and humanitarian care for children and their families through our hospitals, pediatric medical programs, hospital infrastructure projects, and medical missions. These efforts help to ensure that children in need get the vital medical care they require.
PCRF is not a political or religious organization. Our mission is to provide medical and humanitarian relief collectively and individually to Arab children throughout the Middle East, regardless of their nationality, politics, or religion. We rely on charitable giving to provide medical treatment, surgeries, safety, shelter, and support to children and their families suffering from pediatric heart disease. Find out how you can get involved and help make a difference in children’s lives today!