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Howard Catton: Hospitals must change or become monuments to disease

The vision of the 1978 Alma-Ata Declaration, which recognised that improved access to primary care is critical for achieving health for all, remains true but progress has faltered, says ICN director of nursing and health policy Howard Catton.
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The vision of the 1978 Alma-Ata Declaration, which recognised that improved access to primary care is critical for achieving health for all, remains true but progress has faltered, says ICN director of nursing and health policy Howard Catton

The Alma-Ata Declaration, signed by 134 countries in 1978, was a landmark for public health.

It recognised that the ‘attainment of health by people in one country directly concerns and benefits every other country’, and that economic and social development, alongside improved access to primary health care, is critical to attaining the goal of health for all.

However, as we approach its 40th anniversary, many health systems remain fragmented and hospital-centric, increasingly weakened by workforce shortages and overwhelmed by chronic conditions.

The International

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