Primary health care as a strategy for health equity in Arab countries
Susan Watts, World Health Organization (WHO)
Differences in health status between the most advantaged and disadvantaged social groups in Arab countries, as elsewhere, reflect differences in the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. Primary health care is presented as a strategy for ministries of health to achieve more equitable health outcomes for the various social groups they serve by moving beyond a strictly medical model to more preventive and promotive activities. On the 30th anniversary of the Declaration of Alma Ata, primary health care, with its emphasis on universal health care and the right to the best available health care, is being revitalized in response to the challenges presented by alternative health system models, as well as the health and demographic changes experienced by Arab countries. The experiences of countries such as Egypt and Oman will be discussed.