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Book: Primary Health Care in South America

2015 - AUTHOR: LIGIA GIOVANELLA (ORG.)

The functions of the South American Institute of Government in Health (ISAGS/UNASUR) include the development of studies on health policies and the systematization, organization and dissemination of technical-scientific information on health in order to support the decision-making process and to strengthen health leaderships in South America.

The book “Primary Health Care (PHC) in South America” is the third one published by ISAGS/UNASUR and it aims to present an inedited overview of PHC organization in the region, with the identification of successful experiences, challenges and trends in its implantation. The study of the various PHC models existing in the 12 countries of South America has revealed important data regarding health care provision, organization and coordination, its workforce, financing, management and social participation, addressing questions such as intersectorality and interculturality, with the presentation of tendencies, challenges and successful experiences.

This book has been divided into six chapters. The first one presents a critical overview of primary health care in Unasur countries, through a transversal analysis that highlights problems shared by the countries and suggests ways to resolve them. The following five chapters were elaborated by the consultants hired by Isags for the mapping project and gather trend convergences among countries. One of the chapters, for example, assembles PHC experiences of countries whose systems are based on health insurances, while another chapter gathers the experiences of nations with similar approaches towards comprehensive health care. At the same time, the division considers criteria such as geographical proximity (which made fieldwork easier) and shared history.

The project of the book is not limited to the production of knowledge, but it also aims to encourage the formulation of strategies at local, national and regional levels, with the recognition of PHC as a fundamental axis for the concretization of universal health systems in the South American region. Our hopes are that this publication can provide the governments with information that will enable the identification of strategic policies for regional or local actuation, facilitating decision-making and strengthening Unasur as a whole.

ISAGS/UNASUR Executive Direction