The Astana Declaration, adopted by the World Health Organization in October 2018, acknowledges the importance of primary health care to achieve better health outcomes globally. But how, the authors ask, can physicians make this declaration work? Family physicians, the authors argue, can serve an important role in improving primary health care if they are better integrated "horizontally," translating their localized knowledge of health trends to wider populations and communities. Conversely, data on wider populations needs to be better translated to specific communities to "help primary health care address social determinants of health as part of individual care." Besides ongoing advocacy for comprehensive primary care, and strengthening of professionalism through teaching and practice development, the Astana declaration should be amended to include: "engagement with policy makers and public health to detail the professional contribution of primary care in the broader context of primary health care to secure person centered, population oriented integrated care."
The essential role of Primary care professionals in achieving Health for all - how to make "Astana" work.
Prof. Chris van Weel
Prof. Maria van den Muijsenbergh
Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, Netherlands