Basic facilities outpatient clinics andor nonmedical providers

This includes the primary health care (PHC) clinics that are the mainstay of health care throughout many of the rural areas of low-income countries. These are almost exclusively staffed by non-doctor providers, such as village health workers, nurses and medical assistants. This category also includes outpatient clinics run by doctors, whether in urban or rural settings. In many cases, such facilities represent the first access for injured patients to the health care system. This is especially true in low-income countries where there are no formal emergency medical services (EMS). These guidelines apply to these fixed facilities and not to mobile EMS. The latter will be addressed in a WHO publication which is currently in preparation. The "basic" category consists of a wide spectrum of capabilities,

FIGURE 1 Spectrum of health care facilities

FIGURE 1 Spectrum of health care facilities

Basic GP Hospitals Speciality Hospitals Tertiary Hospitals

ranging from extremely minimally equipped facilities staffed by village health workers, usually with only a few months of health-related training, up to facilities staffed by trained professionals, such as doctors, nurses or medical assistants, usually having more supplies and equipment to work with (Figure 1).

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