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Realities of health for all by the year 2000


  • Rathwell, Tom


The European Region of the World Health Organisation (WHO) took the global lead on Health For All when the Regional Committee in 1980 approved a European Health For All Strategy. This was an important breakthrough for WHO as it was the first time Member Statein a Region endorsed a common health policy and agreed to be monitored on their progress towards attainment of the strategy. The paper reviews the progress of Member States to date towards the Regional Health For All goal. Progress is discussed within the context of the six fundamental principles which underpin the Health For All concept, vis: equity; health promotion; community involvement; multisectoral participation; primary (local) health care; and, international cooperation. The paper argues that the commitment of Member States to the Health For All Strategy has been patchy with only moderate success towards meeting the 38 Regional Targets. Poor progress is attributed to changing national and international political and economic circumstances and limited resources but perhaps most importantly to a lack of political will to take the strategy seriously.

Suggested Citation

  • Rathwell, Tom, 1992. "Realities of health for all by the year 2000," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 541-547, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:35:y:1992:i:4:p:541-547

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