Developments to make Primary Health Care (PHC) the foundation of national health policy and practice under the newly-elected democratic government in 1994 were recognised by the Faculty as an opportunity for change, in order to ensure that our graduates are equipped to meet the changing demands of the health system.
A policy on the PHC Approach was therefore adopted by a Special Faculty Assembly in August 1994, which committed the Faculty to the following set of principles with respect to its education, research, and clinical service, and its engagement with communities:
- Promoting equity in health care
- Displaying bio-psychosocial-cultural sensitivity towards the patient
- Evidence-based and cost-effective health care
- Health promotion by means of information, education, communication, advocacy, participation and partnership
- Treating patients at the appropriate level of care
- Multidisciplinary health care
- Intersectoral collaboration within society
- Community involvement in asserting their rights and interests
- Continual monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of health services
The Chair and the Department of Primary Health Care were therefore established in 1995 under the late Prof Dumo Baqwa. In 2003 the Department became the Primary Health Care Directorate, a cross-disciplinary unit within the Dean's office to promote the integration of the PHC Lead Theme in the teaching curricula, and to promote the relevance of the PHC principles to every patient encounter in all health care disciplines and settings.