In line with the PMRS goal of providing quality health services to the most needy social groups, PMRS runs 26 PHC centers in the West bank and Gaza Strip. Most of these clinics are located in rural or marginalized areas. These PHC centers offer services in general medicine, child health, management of chronic disease, emergency care, and provision of medications. 23 of these centers provide women’s health services, 9 provide dental and oral heath services, and 19 are equipped with laboratories.
Specialized services such as dermatology, ENT and internal medicine are also available. Provision of essential drugs, nursing services, rehabilitation, physiotherapy, and cooperation with local communities are also vital activities within the centers (see individual reports). These centers follow the principles and practices of Primary Health Care in the provision of preventative, curative and promotive health services aiming at:
- Promoting a public policy oriented towards health
- Creating supportive environments
- Strengthening community action
- Developing personal skills
- Adjusting and adapting health services according to the needs of the community
Our dedicated and professional staff includes physicians, laboratory technicians, nurses and community health workers, midwifes, and volunteers. Most of them are residents in the communities in which the PHC centers are located.
Working together with youth, women, families and other active community members, PHC centers act as a launch pad for different health and social activities and programs, such as women's health program, child health program, school health program, and CBR program. All of the programs adopt a broad view to health with its close link to the comprehensive social development
Through the combination of clinical services and community activities, PMRS’s PHC centers have become modern health structures that incorporate and promote low-cost high-quality PHC services.The newest Primary Health Care center at Sabastya
PHC Role During Intifada:
Since the start of the Intifada for Independence, PMRS’s PHC Centers faced an unprecedented challenge in sustaining the existing primary health care services and in effectively responding to enormous and ever-expanding community needs.
Besides the injuries, deaths and economic losses of the emergency situation, many people, particularly those living in rural villages, were unable to reach urban areas and thus have become increasingly dependent on the local health centers operated by PMRS. PMRS’s PHC centers in both villages and towns faced tremendous pressures to respond to the people’s increasing need for assistance, posing a challenge to PMRS’s resources. Increased community need grew from the fact that the imposition of blockades around towns and villages prevents Palestinian families from accessing health facilities.
Further, the targeting of medical personnel and the restricting of their movement prevented medical teams from reaching the sick, the wounded and vulnerable sectors of society. As a result of economic losses many underprivileged Palestinians, especially those in rural villages, are finding it difficult to pay even for basic health services. Moreover, many outlying communities have been cut off from health care service in towns as Palestinian freedom of movement is severely restricted. PMRS has a long history of overcoming these challenges to regular and affordable provision of basic services.
Increased number of beneficiaries
PHC centers have been able to further develop their services in spite of the obstacles and difficulties that have been facing the regular health development activities for the fifth year consecutively due to the political situation, particularly closures imposed on all areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and restrictions on the mobility of citizens and medical teams.
Preventative and Promotive Outreach Activities
The program’s outreach activities increase the capacity of PHC centers to continue providing various outreach services such as school health, home visits and mobile clinics to a greater number of beneficiaries. As such, community outreach, education and the involvement of local communities are cornerstones of each of our programs. Health Education has always been a vital component of all PMRS programs for comprehensive health. Promoting healthy lifestyles and encouraging behavior that prevents disease and injury is a central principle of PHC, and PMRS has been a leader in promoting health education in Palestinian communities. In many locations served by PMRS, Palestinians still face many of the health risks prevalent in developing societies.
Quality control became a central issue for PMRS in 2005. An interdisciplinary committee was established and its activities were mainstreamed within all the programs. In spite of being a nascent endeavor, the committee introduced novel concepts and approaches in quality management.
Innovative models were constructed to measure the needs and the satisfaction of beneficiaries and providers. New strategies were designed for updating the Essential Drug List used by PMRS. Tremendous efforts were also exerted to update the protocols and ensure that the activities are conforming to standard guidelines and evidence based procedures.
Partnership and cooperation
Partnership with MoH continued in 7 PMRS health centers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Turmus'aya, Sinjel, Mughayer, Aboud, Dyuk and Maythaloun in the West Bank and Um an-Nasr in Gaza),, demonstrating a model of positive professional cooperation in service provision and avoiding duplication of services. Moreover, partnership relations continued with Caritas, Evangelical Hospital, local councils and other local societies and organizations in seven clinics including Aboud, Zababdeh, Sinjel, Beit Dukko, Deir Ghassaneh, Sabastia and Al Nassariah. This cooperation and partnership exist as part of empowering local communities and supporting health service provision in these centers.
PMRS continued to restructure and equip 12 of its clinics to deliver services that promote child health through a supportive environment for children and their families. Computerized filing system for data entry in child health was introduced to all clinics.
Integration of NCDs at Primary health care clinics
State-of-the-art concepts and practices acquired and implemented by the Chronic Disease Center of PMRS were integrated within the primary health care centers of PMRS. Primary health care centers of other organizations such as the UNRWA, UHWC, and the MOH also benefited from this process. As a result of this networking among the various health organizations on the issue of NCDs was enhanced.
PMRS believes that a modern, well-supported primary healthcare system should make quality specialized services available at the community level. Which contributes to the reduction of the referrals to the secondary level of healthcare, primary specialized services ensure continuity of care and greatly increase the range of services available to people in their own communities. The importance of these services was proved in view of the closure and siege imposed on Palestinian villages and towns and lack of access to specialized services that are often located in central cities. Along with other specialized services, PMRS makes quality Dental Care, Ophthalmic and Dermatological services available to its beneficiaries in rural and poor areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. On the other hands, These services provided at low cost than private sector, leads to supporting people in the currents economic crisis patients suffers from.
Dental Care Program
As one of the first specialized programs introduced to PMRS services. The aim of the dental and oral Health is to providing quality dental and oral health service for people, whose usually do not pay attention for there oral health, because of decrease the awareness of the importance of oral health and the high cost of the service. Dental and oral health dentist provide preventive, curative and restorative services (bridges, permanent and removable dentures).
In addition, the program participates in school health activities by providing dental screening and dental health education in schools and kindergartens throughout the West Bank an Gaza Strip.
Aiming at filling the acute gap in the availability of dermatologists in the north and south of the West Bank, mainly in rural areas. The Dermatology Program continues to be the most structured specialized service, providing quality care in 16 health centres. The program is unique in the country in that it looks to provide the service and enhance the ability of general practitioners for the management of common skin diseases.
Two dermatologists routinely work at PMRS' primary health centres and join mobile clinic teams to bring specialized services to many Palestinian communities, throw the permanent health centers, the number of beneficiaries reached 6,353 cases.
Additionally, the Dermatology Program is supplementing the initiative of PMRS' Women’s Health Program to increase awareness of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, among health professionals and the general public. At the same time, the program continued to organize national annual dermatological conferences in the area, in cooperation with the Medical Association. Primary Health Care Centers