WHO calls for return to primary care to help ailing health systems

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 15 October 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2109
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    The World Health Organization has called for a return to primary health care to help ailing systems in many countries deliver better performance and equity.

    “Health systems are developing in directions that contribute little to equity and social justice and fail to get the best health outcomes for their money,” it says.

    The world health report 2008, Primary Health Care: Now More Than Ever, “sets out a way to tackle inequities and inefficiencies in health care, and its recommendations need to be heeded,” said Margaret Chan, WHO’s director general.

    “We are in effect encouraging countries to go back to basics,” Dr Chan said at the launch of the report in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

    The report commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Alma Ata declaration of primary health care in 1978, which focused for the first time on how to improve fairness and access to health care …

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