Empanelment: A foundational component of primary health care

Trudy Bearden, Hannah L. Ratcliffe, Jonathan R. Sugarman, Asaf Bitton, Leonard Abbam Anaman, Gilbert Buckle, Momodou Cham, Diane Chong Woei Quan, Fatanah Ismail, Badarch Jargalsaikhan, Wujung Lim, Nik Mazlina Mohammad, Isaac C.N. Morrison, Bolormaa Norov, Juhwan Oh, Gandiimaa Riimaadai, Sondi Sararaks, Lisa R. Hirschhorn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Empanelment is a foundational strategy for building or improving primary health care systems and a critical pathway for achieving effective universal health coverage. However, there is little international guidance for defining empanelment or understanding how to implement empanelment systems in low-and middle-income countries. To fill this gap, a multi-country collaborative within the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage developed this empanelment overview, proposing a people-centered definition of empanelment that reflects the responsibility to proactively deliver primary care services to all individuals in a target population. This document, building on existing literature on empanelment and representing input from 10 countries, establishes standard concepts of empanelment and describes why and how empanelment is used. Finally, it identifies key domains that may influence effective empanelment and that must be considered in deciding how empanelment can be implemented. This document is designed to be a useful resource for health policymakers, planners and decision-makers in ministries of health, as well as front line planners and decision-makers in ministries of health, as well as front line providers of primary care service delivery who are working to ensure quality people-centered primary care to everyone everywhere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalGates Open Research
StatePublished - 2019


  • Continuity
  • Empanelment
  • Enrollment
  • Panel maintenance
  • Population health management
  • Rostering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Immunology and Microbiology (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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