Primary Care Investment

"Primary health care is a whole-of-society approach to health and well-being centered on the needs and preferences of individuals, families and communities. It addresses the broader determinants of health and focuses on the comprehensive and interrelated aspects of physical, mental and social health and well-being. It provides whole-person care for health needs throughout the lifespan, not just for a set of specific diseases.”

World Health Organization fact sheet on primary health care, 2020.

In 2018, the WAFP House of Delegates pursued a strategy to increase the prominence of primary care in Washington’s health care system. Evidence from other states, and from nations around the world, demonstrates that systems which prioritize primary care have better health outcomes at lower costs and with greater patient satisfaction.

Since then, WAFP advocated and secured funding from the state legislature to study health care spending in the state. The study found that less than 5 percent of health care funding in Washington goes to primary care. With data in hand, WAFP continued to advocate through both the state legislature and the executive branch for changes that would put primary care at the center of health care in the state. The work continues today.