Sarah* is a 27-year-old woman who lives in a remote community. Because of the remoteness of Sarah's community, a nurse practitioner (a nurse who performs an expanded role, including diagnosing and managing medical conditions as well as prescribing certain drugs) works as part of a primary health care team with a doctor that lives in another community.
When Sarah became pregnant, she wanted to make sure that she was involved in making decisions about her care, and that her preferences, including having a midwife at the birth, would be considered. Fortunately, Sarah's nurse practitioner was part of a primary health care team that had a midwife on the team.
Sarah's nurse practitioner helped form a team (including a midwife to assist at the birth) to help Sarah get the high quality, coordinated care that she needed throughout her pregnancy. By working with her team, Sarah was able to participate in making decisions about her care during her pregnancy and the birth. This gave her an increased sense of control over the process. Because Sarah's team was able to quickly and easily exchange information, they were able to provide better-coordinated, more consistent care that was also more cost-effective.
For more information about collaborative maternity care, visit the website of the Multidisciplinary Collaborative Primary Maternity Care Project. There are good examples of the innovative new programs that have been started in primary health care.
* Note: The stories of Sarah, Jamal, and Roger are hypothetical stories based on the goals and vision of primary health care.
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