International Federation of Community Health Centres (IFCHC)

International Federation of Community Health Centres.

Advancing community-oriented primary health care around the world via Community Health Centres



Definition of Community Health Centre

They define "Community Health Centre (CHC)" as a model of care that can take a variety of formal names depending on the jurisdiction in which they are situated. The following characteristics are fundamental and define the "Community Health Centre ". This list defines minimum criteria, but in certain jurisdictions additional criteria may be in place.

  • Community Health Centres deliver integrated, comprehensive, people-centered primary health care, through an interprofessional team that addresses aspects of both health and wellbeing.
  • Clinical primary care services at Community Health Centres address aspects of health promotion and illness prevention, curative care and rehabilitation, using a holistic frame of reference and are orientated towards the needs of individuals, families, populations and communities.
  • The Community Health Centre care team integrates into its daily activities, attention to the broader causes of illness, and looks at the social determinants of health, addressing them through intersectoral cooperation.
  • Community Health Centres develop a community-oriented primary care strategy, blending skills for individual health care with approaches focused on public health.
  • 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), and on respect for fundamental human rights.
  • Community Health Centres place a strong emphasis on community engagement and civic participation in health and health care, which may, but does not necessarily include participation of clients/patients and other community members in governance of the healthcare organization.
  • Community Health Centres contribute to universal 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.
  • Community Health Centres engage in processes of continuous quality improvement, starting from the needs of individuals and patients that they are serving.
  • Community Health Centres take responsibility for a defined population that can be geographically-determined or defined by population group(s).