How primary care reforms influenced health indicators in Manisa district in Turkey: Lessons for general practitioners
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Background: Turkish health reforms began in 2003 and brought some significant changes in primary care services. Few studies in Turkey compare the shift from health centres (HC) to family physicians (FP) approach, which was initiated by reforms. Objectives: This study compares health status indicators during the HC period before reforms (2003–2007) and the FP period after reforms (2008–2012) in Turkey. Methods: This study encompasses time series data consisting of the results of a 10-year assessment (2003–2012) in Manisa district. All the data were obtained electronically and by month. The intersection points of the regression curves of these two periods and the beta coefficients were compared using segmented linear regression analysis. Results: The mean number of follow-up per person/year during the HC period in infants (10.5), pregnant women (6.6) and women (1.8) was significantly higher than the mean number of follow-up during the FP period in infants (6.7), pregnant women (5.6) and women (0.9). Rates of BCG and measles vaccinations were significantly higher during the FP period; however, rates of HBV and DPT were same. The mean number of outpatient services per person/year during the FP period (3.3) was significantly higher than HC period (2.8). Within non-communicable diseases, no difference was detected for hypertension prevalence. Within communicable diseases, there was no difference for rabies suspected bites but acute haemorrhagic gastroenteritis significantly decreased. The infant mortality rate and under five-year child mortality rate significantly increased during the FP period. Conclusion: Primary care services should be reorganized and integrated with public health services.