chapter  2
The Primary Health Care Dialectic: History, Rhetoric, and Reality
WithJ. Dennis Mull
Pages 20

This chapter summarizes major factors that have influenced international perspectives on primary health care (PHC). Individuals who were part of the international health leadership in the mid-1970s have indicated that the mood of World Health Organization (WHO) officials at that time was one of disappointment and even despair. The centerpiece of the Health-for-All proposal was its plan for comprehensive primary health care delivery–a plan that was proposed in 1978 and further defined in WHO publications over the next two years. Most of the projects funded by international health agencies have been selective primary health care-oriented, and there is little likelihood of any immediate change in this trend. As frequently in the history of PHC, rhetoric is likely to be in conflict with observable reality, and one is well advised to look beyond mere allegations in order to discover the truth.