A “Community Health Centre (CHC)” is a model of primary health care that can take a variety of formal names depending on the region of the world in which it is located. According to the International Federation of Community Health Centres, the following are key characteristics that define a “Community Health Centre”. This list provides minimum criteria, but in certain jurisdictions additional criteria may be in place:

 

Community Health Centres deliver comprehensive primary health care through an interprofessional team that integrates primary care services, health promotion programs, and population/community health programs.
Community Health Centres integrate, into their daily activities, attention to the broader causes of illness (the social determinants of health) addressing them through intersectoral services and cooperation.
Community Health Centres place a strong emphasis on community engagement and civic participation in health and health care, which often includes participation of local community members in governance of the local health centre.

Community Health Centres take responsibility for a defined population that can be geographically-determined or defined by population group(s).
Community Health Centres have a commitment to equity and social inclusion and put emphasis on access to health care (with special attention given to the most vulnerable).
Community Health Centres contribute to universal health services coverage and are strongly committed to being accessible for individuals and families, irrespective of race, religion, social status and other factors, including ability to pay for care.

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