Community Oriented Primary Care: New Directions for Health Services Delivery


In March 1982 the Institute of Medicine sponsored an invitational Conference on Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC). Over the course of 3 days, 120 conference participants from six countries took part in plenary sessions and small group workshops. During the plenary sessions papers were presented and responded to by discussants. Both the major papers and the discussant papers dealt primarily with the theoretical issues of COPC.

The workshops provided an opportunity for the participants to listen to case reports by people currently engaged in COPC, to discuss the problems of applying theory to practice, and to suggest creative ways these problems could be solved. Time constraints made plenary discussion impossible but ample opportunity for discussion was provided in the workshops.

The success of the conference is evidenced by the richness of these proceedings. The contents of this volume reflect the organization and main themes of the March conference.

Part I, "Theoretical Issues," covers the meaning and scope of COPC in an historical context, an international perspective on COPC, the problems and opportunities presented by COPC in the current economic and political climate, the role of health workers in COPC, and the education and training of providers of COPC.

Part II presents summaries of 16 case reports illustrating the application of COPC principles to medical education and health services delivery in a variety of settings--urban, rural, public, and private.

The discussion, conclusions, and suggestions that emerged from the small group workshops are summarized in Part III.