Since there is no single definition of the notion of ‘access’ in the healthcare environment, there is room and opportunity to explore this in the context of the Partnership. The partners of PACT agreed on key principles supporting the notion of accessAvailability, Adequacy, Accessibility, Affordability and Appropriateness, or in short – the Five A principles.

The 5As principles stands for the following:

Availability: Whether services are available in the first place.

Adequacy: Whether there is an adequate and continued supply of available services.

Accessibility: Whether the services are effectively available for utilization. Access measured in terms of utilization is dependent on the physical accessibility and acceptability of services and not merely adequacy of supply. This can also refer to the time to get necessary healthcare, for example.

Affordability: a system for financing health services so people do not suffer financial hardship when using them.

Appropriateness: Services available must be relevant to the different parts of a population in terms of their health needs and material and cultural settings if the population is to ′gain access to satisfactory health outcomes′. In other words, available health care resources should meet the needs of different population groups.