Social Scientist. v 8, no. 91 (Feb 1980) p. 21.


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I QADEER

Limitations of Another Development in Health

APPALLED by the miserable status of health of the poor in the world and alarmed at the widespread dissatisfaction among the populations, the adhoc group of the executive board of the World Health Organization (WHO) urged the national governments and WHO to act immediately. It warned them against the developing crisis which "must be faced at once if destructive and costly reactions are to be averted.'^ As a solution it proposed the idea of primary health care to provide for the basic health needs of the people through simple and effective measures in terms of costs, techniques and organization. The essence of primary health care was that it should form an integral part of the national health service built around the lives of the people with their full participation as a programme of social and economic progress. The introduction of this theme led to an universal sprouting of experiments in the field of alternatives in health care systems. At times it even became a tool for legitimatizing two types of health services:

one for the rich living mostly in urban areas, and the other, the rural health services for the poor in the rural areas. Often, under the pretext of people's participation and involvement in running the primary health care services, the slogan of "health for the people" was pushed further to "health by the people". The result



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