C ayHealth, an initiative between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community Affairs and Housing, was rolled out in June 2010, with the aim of improving patients’ access to sustainable, high quality primary health care while taking pressure off the emergency and acute care services.
There are four aspect to this programme:
Access to a preferred primary care physician: If each patient is seen by the same general practitioner every time go for a doctor’s appointment it will ensure better continuity and familiarity on both sides, ensuring more personal and consistent care. The preferred physician will be able to coordinate specialist referrals, direct health screening intervention and educational programmes.
Access to care in the community
The programme aims to enable patients to visit their physician at their district health centre, rather than having to travel to George Town Hospital. This will reduce waiting time for patients and improve access to quality healthcare.
Getting prescriptions filled locally
Patients will be able to have their prescriptions filled at their district health centres. Pharmacies will be enhanced as needed and will be open on doctors’ clinic days. This will also reduce waiting times at the main pharmacy.
All patients will have access to health education and healthy lifestyle programmes
By educating the public about a healthy lifestyle it is hoped that the incidence of non-communicable chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma can be reduced.
Through implementing these strategies CayHealth hopes to improve patient access to all services, decrease wait time for specialist care, deliver more affordable health care and decrease the burden of chronic disease in the community. Initially the programme is offered to DCFS clients and the plans are to extend this to the rest of the Government Insured and ultimately to the entire population.