The Generalitat de Catalunya consolidates the primary and community care in our country as the backbone of the health care system with the incorporation of dental hygienists and physiotherapists.who join the teams of professionals at primary care centers (PCCs) to improve people’s health. In this way, the capacity of primary care is enhanced with these new professional roles, which will help to reduce delays in access to care. For example, physiotherapists will mainly provide group postural education sessions to avoid back or neck pain; and dental hygienists, among other services, will offer high-risk schoolchildren instructions on oral health to avoid later pathologies, such as caries or gum problems.
With the incorporation of these profiles, primary care is even more focused on the prevention of many pathologies, especially among vulnerable groups and with the aim of reducing health inequalities. In this sense, the CAPs have already begun to add these new professionals and it is expected that over the next year they will be working in Catalonia. 365 dental hygienists and 366 physiotherapists.. These new profiles are in addition to the recently incorporated nutritionists and community emotional wellness referents, of which there are currently 150 and 366 active in the CAPs, respectively.
Prevention and equity in oral health
The first beneficiaries of the care provided by oral hygienists in primary care will be children up to 14 years of age, pregnant women, the disabled population, patients undergoing certain health treatments and people at risk of social vulnerability. In short, it is a service initially aimed at the most vulnerable population, but with the ultimate goal of reaching the population as a whole. The dental hygienist will activities of prevention and promotion of oral health.as well as follow-up and preventive treatment of caries and periodontal pathology of low complexity in the CAPs and in the community. This specialist will be integrated into the dental units, which until now have been made up of primary dentists and auxiliary nursing care technicians.
The aim of this service is to fight against avoidable oral health inequalities and prevent more serious diseases. The incorporation of these professionals will mark the beginning of the rollout of the 2020 Oral Health Act, which will be implemented progressively over the next five years.
In order to improve the quality of life and health of the population, Salut also incorporates physiotherapists in the CAPs. In this way, the aim is to respond to some of the most frequent pathologies of the health system.such as vertebral pain (low back pain and cervical pain); also chronic knee or hip pain; shoulder pain; or other chronic joint pathologies.
Good care and good support from physiotherapists, from primary care, can save a lot of suffering for patients and relieve a lot of care pressure on the rest of the CAP professionals.
With these profiles, attention is focused on prevention.
The physiotherapists of the CAPs will also carry out activities to. promote and improve the autonomy of the population.as well as preventing disability, treating chronic musculoskeletal conditions of low complexity. At the same time, it is intended that their intervention contributes to increase the link of the population with activities and services in their neighborhoods, cities or towns that are beneficial and healthy for them.
Well-being and good habits
In addition to dental hygienists and physical therapists, CAPs also have the new profiles of nutritionists and community emotional wellness referents.who develop their activities in the community setting and through group interventions. The nutritionists-dietitians of the CAPs promote healthy eating habits and take care of preventing and treating problems associated with poor nutrition, especially among the groups most in need. For its part, the figure of the community emotional wellbeing referent from the primary level promotes and prevents emotional health, with group actions to alleviate emotional discomfort, aimed at the most socioeconomically vulnerable people.