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Mason Zemel10/2/10Primary health care: will it ever be perfect?I will start off this essay by stating that the fact that primary health care only came into existence 32 years ago is appalling. Before the Alma Ata Declaration in 1978, did people just sit and rot if they had minor infections? Did they go to the hospitals or clinics and wait for hours as the bacteria took over, just because there was always someone in a worse condition ahead of them? The institution of primary health care was an absolute necessity for the world to become what it is today, and still primary health care reform happens throughout the world on a constant basis. The Alma Ata Declaration was a great steppingstone for the idea of primary health care to sprout, setting realistic goals to better the global health sector, although the dates of these goals were quite unrealistic.Now the principles of primary health care are important. Decentralization was the most important, since the implementation of primary health care was based on the decentralization of the health care system. Health promotion and disease prevention are easy concepts to grasp, while equity between—for example—people in developing countries and people in developed countries is even easier to comprehend. I think community participation goes along with health promotion and disease prevention, in the fact that the community as a whole must work together to prevent health-related problems and in turn promote good health. As said in class, appropriate technology is essential, because in the simplest case how can a physician look for an infection in a patient’s ear or check for signs of a bacterial infection in a patient’s throat without an auriscope or a tongue depressor, respectively. The more complex principle of primary health care lies with intersectoral coordination.I believe that the intersectoral relationship between health and education correlates to the principle of community participation, since the school system is part of the community. However, an intersectoral relationship between health and agriculture and the environment must be established in order to better the primary health care policies throughout the world. Also related to the principle of equity is accessibility, which is a major problem in many countries. Finally, another principle must be added: continuity. This continuity refers to a comprehensive, person-centered form of health care with a primary care physician, and it must be a steady, lasting relationship built up over time. With the principles mentioned in the previous paragraph, these three ideas—accessibility, continuity, and intersectoral coordination—are the most important principles of the primary healthcare system at this time.