Primary Health Care: can the dream be revived?

12 September 2003 was the twenty-fifth anniversary of WHOs Alma Ata Health for All (HfA) by the Year 2000 Strategy. The strategy reflected an optimism that health could improve for poor and disadvantaged peoples around the world through the provision of comprehensive primary health care (PHC). In practice, PHC has been only selectively applied and generally under-resourced. Two progressive health groups, the International Peoples Health Council (IPHC) and the Peoples Health Movement (PHM) challenge the evidence that selective rather than comprehensive PHC is the right approach, and argue that the privatisation of health-related social services has had a devastating effect on public health worldwide. These organisations call on WHO to revive the dream of Alma Ata as a matter of urgency.