Document Type : Original Article


Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, JIPMER, Puducherry, India


BACKGROUND: First point‑of‑care (FPC) at the primary health care (PHC) level is an important public
health issue at the global level. Patients directly come to tertiary health centers without a referral.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: Hence, the current study was done to assess the proportion of individuals
availing health‑care services from rural health center (RHC) as FPC and reasons for not availing it.
METHODS: A community‑based cross‑sectional study was conducted in Puducherry, coastal South
India, among 367 households with 1510 individuals. Sociodemographic details, recent FPC during the
past 6 months, morbidity profile, and reasons for not seeking were collected from all the individuals.
RESULTS: About 44.5% (672/1510) of individuals used any health facilities, of which 70.4% (473/672)
used RHC as the FPC. About 33.2% of individuals had a respiratory illness, 22.3% had general
signs and symptoms. About 24.6% (32/130) mentioned the reasons for not seeking care as lack of
appropriate health facilities.
CONCLUSION: More than one‑fourth of the study population not utilized services at PHC level.
Improving the health facilities may help to increase these services.


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