Free Health Ideologies

The World Health Day this year focuses on the safety of health facilities and the preparation of health personnel serving in emergency situations. In previous years, to protect health from climate change, international health security and the health workforce crisis.

Although these are fundamental issues to save lives, they show the current trend in health care. This is more about the care of diseases once they appear, instead of seeking and promoting a "state of complete physical, mental and social, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" in people, such as the Organization World Health Organization (WHO) defines 'health'.

The latest WHO report revived the primary health care after decades of silence for the business models of healthcare. The conservative revolution of the eighties became fundamental social rights such as health and education into a commodity.

Thirty years ago, several countries signed the Declaration of Alma Ata to recognize health as a human right and not a luxury. However, neoliberal provision was interpreted as a "poor" health care, plus an idea "utopian". They considered only covered the first level of attention and was a threat to the doctors, as if the protagonist of health were the doctors, drugs or diseases, not people - and its environment - that have been altered the organic balance.

Primary care does not restrict freedom of people with high incomes in rich countries to recruit care and private insurance. In the U.S., this "fear" has scuppered efforts to carry out a health reform that meets the people who have no health coverage, which now reaches 50 million.

Since many of the causes of ill health are outside the scope of medicine, primary care seeks a broad social approach to ensure fairness in access to services and the efficient use of resources. In the words of WHO director Margaret Chan, "offers a way to organize the whole health care, from households to hospitals, where prevention is as important as cure, and in which resources invested rationally in the different levels of care. "

The discrediting of the neoliberal model by the crisis will be brought out models closer to patient health. It is possible to decrease public health costs due to excessive demand for drugs without being translated into improved welfare of people. In Spain, a primary care model for older people to relieve the emergency services collapsed.

The mortality rate in Iran has fallen while life expectancy has risen from 63 to 71 years due to "health houses" that serve 1,500 people. The Family Health Program in Brazil provides quality care to families at home, in clinics and hospitals.

In addition to person-centered services, WHO proposes three guidelines for countries in health: universal coverage, healthy public policies and spaces where people can express their needs.

Efficiency and equity of health services depend to a large extent, universal access to health care, according to the needs of people and regardless of their economic capacity. More than a "cost", primary care and health is an investment for families and communities. Less often have to fight against diseases that prevent them from attending school, helping in the fields or in trade. Health is an investment against poverty.

Although health systems worldwide are weakened at this juncture, perhaps the current crisis an opportunity to reaffirm health as a right for all people and as a pillar of the welfare state.