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date: 15 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The aim of this article is to review the evidence on the role of primary care in health care systems. It focuses on the key issues and evidence from both developed and developing countries and from an economics perspective. It defines the main features of primary care and how these are evolving across countries. It provides an overview of the evidence on whether an expansion or strengthening of primary care improve health outcomes, reduce costs, and improve access. This article also addresses issues around the financing of primary care and the remuneration of primary care workers. It examines the most cost-effective ways to ensure the adequate supply of the primary care workforce in the context of the labor market for primary care workers and global health workforce shortages.

Keywords: primary care, health outcomes, cost-effective, financing, global health

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