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J Korean Med Assoc. 2013 Oct;56(10):856-865. Korean. Original Article.
Choi YJ , Ko BS , Cho KH , Lee JH .
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.
Tapdong 365-il Clinic, Jeju, Korea.
Department of Family Medicine, National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
Department of Family Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Primary care is an essential part of a whole health system. It is the first contact point for medical care in the community, where many people are likely to obtain their own impression of the health system. Primary care has its own attributes, such as first contact, continuity, comprehensiveness, and coordination, which are yardsticks for measuring its excellence. Regarding the value of primary care, many studies have reported extensive evidence of the advantages of primary care at individual and societal levels. Health systems with strong bases of primary care are better than those with weak ones in terms of cost, health outcomes, and quality of care. However, primary care in South Korea has continuously shrunk or been weakened for several decades. As people age and chronic illnesses become prevalent, more attention is being paid to primary care than ever before, and several policy options have been proposed. Therefore, if the medical community wishes to invigorate primary care, it should play a pivotal role in formulating and implementing primary care policies by envisioning primary care, establishing related data infrastructure, and continuing the discussion on long term goals like training primary care physicians.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.