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QUALICOPC, a multi-country study evaluating quality, costs and equity in primary care.

Salchev, P., Schäfer, W., Boerma, W., Groenewegen, P. QUALICOPC, a multi-country study evaluating quality, costs and equity in primary care. Bulgarian Journal of Public Health: 2011, 3(1-2), 93-97
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Today, strengthening primary care is worldwide probably higher than ever on the agenda of scientist and policy makers (1). Primary care is expected to be an effective response to effects of the current economic crisis on health and health care. The policy strategy towards primary care reinforcement is often based on the notion that a strong primary care system benefits a nation’s health and health care system. PC has the potential to contribute to overall health system performance and health (2)(3). In 2010 the QUALICOPC (Quality and Costs of Primary Care in Europe) study started. The aim of this study is to evaluate quality, costs and equity of primary care in European countries. The researchers of this study are trying to give an answer to the question what the benefits of primary care are and what effect the strength of a primary care system has on the performance of health care systems. The study is funded by the European Commission under the socalled “Seventh Framework Programme” and is carried out by a consortium of 6 research institutes from Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Slovenia. The study is coordinated by NIVEL, the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research. In this article the background and design of the QUALICOPC study is described. (aut.ref.)