Making Medicare:  The History of Health Care in Canada, 1914-2007 Back to Timeline Back to Timeline
Costs & Benefits: 1968-1978 Costs & Benefits: 1958-1968 Costs & Benefits: 1968-1978 Costs & Benefits: 1978-1988

Declaration of Alma-Ata

In September 1978, the International Conference on Primary Health Care was held in Alma-Ata and it produced a declaration stating the fundamental principles that would guide Canadian health planners as they responded to rising costs and the policy shift to health promotion. Clause I stated: “The Conference strongly reaffirms that health, which is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, is a fundamental human right and that the attainment of the highest possible level of health is a most important world-wide social goal whose realization requires the action of many other social and economic sectors in addition to the health sector” (The Pan American Health Organization, Primary Health Care: 25 Years of the Alma-Ata Declaration. And clause V noted: “Governments have a responsibility for the health of their people which can be fulfilled only by the provision of adequate health and social measures” (Primary Health Care). The emphasis on creating national and international programs to improve the health of all citizens through a focus on primary health care by 2000 fit well with the Canadian government’s growing interest in the determinants of health and the integration of health concerns in all aspects of life. 

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    Date Created: March 31, 2010 | Last Updated: April 21, 2010