Thursday, January 08, 2009

HealthWrights: Workgroup for People's Health and Rights

HealthWrights: Workgroup for People's Health and Rights: "Just as death from diarrhea is determined, to a large extent, by socioeconomic factors, the same is true for most of the other major health problems affecting the poor. Thus, primary health care - if it truly involves the people in seeking solutions for themselves - creates a demand for fairer social structures. The primary health worker who earnestly works with people and learns from them the obstacles to health, will necessarily become politicized. Thus the community health worker can become 'an internal agent of change, not only for health care, but for the awakening of his or her people to their human potential and ultimately to their human rights.'

Today, it is often said that primary health care is an experiment that was tried and failed. But in most countries, it has never really been tried, at least by the governments. Is this not because primary health care has a liberating and empowering potential? By helping people gain control over some aspects of their lives it can catalyze collective action for social change. In its fullest sense, primary health care is, indeed, revolutionary. It is no surprise, therefore that in most countries, primary health care has not been allowed to succeed. The very few countries where governments have given it a fair chance are mostly those where social transformation has recently taken."

If we need to improve healthcare , we need to start by understanding that making these changes is an intensely political process - and there will be lots of resistance from the entrenched forces, who want to maintain the status quo !

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