Health and Primary Health Care in India

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There is today a recognition that populations are left behind and a sense of lost opportunities thatmare reminiscent of what gave rise, thirty years ago, to Alma-Ata’s paradigm shift in thinking about health. The Alma-Ata Conference mobilized a “Primary Health Care movement” of professionals and institutions, governments and civil society organizations, researchers and grassroots organizations that undertook to tackle the “politically, socially and economically unacceptable” health inequalities in all countries. The Declaration of Alma-Ata was clear about the values pursued: social justice and the right to better health for all, participation and solidarity.There was a sense that progress towards these values required fundamental changes in the way health-care systems operated and harnessed the potential of other sectors. The translation of these values into tangible reforms has been uneven. Nevertheless, today, health equity enjoys increased prominence in the discourse of political leaders and ministries of health, as well as of local government structures, professional organizations and civil society organizations. The PHC values to achieve health for all require health systems that “Put people at the centre of health care”. What people consider desirable ways of living as individuals and what they expect for their societies – i.e. what people value – constitute important parameters for governing the health sector. PHC has remained the benchmark for most countries’ discourse on health precisely because the PHC movement tried to provide rational, evidence-based and anticipatory responses to health needs and to these social expectations. Achieving this requires trade-offs that must start by taking into account citizens. Moving towards health for all requires that health systems respond to the challenges of a changing world and growing expectations for better performance. A short definition to Primary health Care.

Primary health care, often abbreviated as "PHC", has been defined as "essential health care based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community through their full participation and at a cost that the community and the country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development in the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination".In other words, PHC is an approach to health beyond the traditional health care system that focuses on health equity-producing social policy. This ideal model of health care was adopted in the declaration of the International Conference on Primary Health Care held in Alma Ata in 1978 (known as the "Alma Ata Declaration"), and became a core concept of the World Health Organization's goal of Health for all. The Alma-Ata Conference mobilized a "Primary Health Care movement" of professionals and institutions, governments and civil society organizations, researchers and grassroots organizations that undertook to tackle the "politically, socially and economically unacceptable" health inequalities in all countries. A PHC philosophy recognizes that health and health services occur within particular physical environments and their historical, socio-political, economic, and cultural contexts that shape the social determinants of health for individuals, families, groups, communities, regions, or countries. Each discipline contributes to health and health services delivery within a PHC model, both in a unique sense, and through collaborative interdisciplinary practice.

Conceptual Definition of Primary Health Care:
Primary Health Care
Primary Health Care (PHC) is a conceptual model which refers to both processes and beliefs about the ways in which health care is structured. PHC encompasses primary care, disease prevention, health promotion, population health, and community development within a holistic framework, with the aim of providing essential community-focused health care...
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