Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The COVID-19 pandemic has modified organisation and processes of primary care. In this paper, we aim to summarise experiences of international primary care systems. We explored personal accounts and findings in reporting on the early experiences from primary care during the pandemic, through the online Global Forum on Universal Health Coverage and Primary Health Care. During the early stage of the pandemic, primary care continued as the first point of contact to the health system but was poorly informed by policy makers on how to fulfil its role and ill equipped to provide care while protecting staff and patients against further spread of the infection. In many countries, the creativity and initiatives of local health professionals led to the introduction or extension of the use of telephone, e-mail and virtual consulting, and introduced triaging to separate ‘suspected’ COVID-19 from non-COVID-19 care. There were substantial concerns of collateral damage to the health of the population due to abandoned or postponed routine care. The pandemic presents important lessons to strengthen health systems through better connection between public health, primary care, and secondary care to cope better with future waves of this and other pandemics.

Original publication




Journal article


European Journal of General Practice

Publication Date





129 - 133