Primary Health Care in Turkey: A Passing Fashion?
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The Alma-Ata Declaration has long been regarded as a watershed in the health policy arena. The global goal of the World Health Organization, 'Health for All by the Year 2000' through primary health care, has attracted many countries both in the developed and the developing world and commitments to this end have been made at every level. However, albeit this consensus on the paper, a common and explicit definition of the concept has not been reached yet. This paper aims at discussing various definitions of primary health care that emerged after the Declaration and also presenting a case study from Turkey, a country that advocates primary health care in her recent health policy reform attempts. After setting the conceptual framework for discussion the Turkish case is presented by using research carried out among Turkish policy-makers at different levels of the State apparatus. It has been concluded that application of primary health care principles as defined in the broad definition of the concept requires major changes or rather shake-ups in Turkey. These areas are outlined briefly at the end of the paper.