Policy Framework

How does your project fit within the primary health care and health promotion policy framework? It’s well worth being familiar with the policy context, as funding initiatives are directly influenced by these.

Primary Health Care

Since 1989, South Australia has had a primary health care policy, which has guided the development of primary health care services and many other primary health care initiatives. Primary Health Care (PHC) is both an approach to dealing with health issues and a level of the health system. It is also a strategy for re-orienting the health system to be more equitable and health promoting. The overriding goal of the South Australian health system is ‘equity in health’, which means reducing the current inequities in health status between different sections of the population.

The PHC approach is based on 6 principles:

  • Self-reliance
  • Community participation
  • Inter-sector collaboration
  • Integration of services
  • Special attention to high risk and vulnerable groups
  • Appropriate use of technology

The PHC level of the health system is the first level of health care where health problems and illnesses are prevented or treated in the early stage of development. It is the most accessible and least expensive level and is an essential foundation for the rest of the system.

Health Promotion

Health Promotion is the process of enabling people to improve their health and to increase their control over the conditions that enable health. Health promotion spans from activities which strengthen the knowledge, skills and capabilities of individuals through to changing the social, environmental and economic conditions – ie. the determinants of health.

One key document which has guided the development of health promotion since 1986 is the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. In 1997 the Jakarta Declaration re-affirmed the relevance of the Ottawa Charter and highlighted the importance of health to development.


Priorities Ethics approval