n South African Journal of Child Health - Defining the level and quality of care : editorial




For a long time, health service planners have grappled with the vexed question of how to provide care of optimal quality for patients in the most cost-effective way. When the large majority of healthcare-seeking customers suffer from conditions that are easily managed without expensive drugs or equipment by personnel without high levels of training or skill, it seems not to be cost-effective to place the highest level of skill and resources at the gateway. Accordingly, in a primary care-based model, patient services at the entry point into the healthcare system are planned at a relatively low level of sophistication and cost.


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